If you’re anything like me, I love a good sauce. Sauces don’t always need to be heavy or cream based, and many times the best sauces are made of mostly herbs and other pantry ingredients. French food sometimes gets a bad rap for being too rich, probably due to the amount of butter they add to many dishes, but in this recipe, this sauce is light and refreshing. Vierge means “virgin” in French or uncooked, as they like to think of it, and it’s similar to pesto in some ways, but more brinier and doesn’t contain any nuts or cheese.
In my kitchen, I do enjoy a good bit of chopping. There’s something therapeutic about mincing and rough chopping fresh herbs, olives, cornichon, shallots, anchovies and a few other pertinent ingredients for this sauce. What I like about Sauce Vierge is that it’s raw, and made in one bowl, and can be spooned over all sorts of cooked or uncooked foods. I made this recipe for salmon night at my house, but I also thought I would spoon it over grilled shrimp as an appetizer tonight, when my kids come over. If I have any left, I probably will have to dollop it over cheese, like goat or brie. I love a good cheese.
Sauce Vierge, flecked with an array of greens and yellows, does look spring-like, which makes it the perfect time to prepare a batch with all the fresh herbs popping up everywhere. I hope you’ll step outside your culinary comfort zone, somewhere beyond pesto, and enjoy this sauce, it’s divine on so many levels.
1/2 cup parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Castelvetrano olives, or green olives, pitted and chopped
8 cornichon or baby dills, minced
3 anchovy filets, minced or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons jalapeno or other green chili, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup good olive oil
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- In a medium-sized bowl, add all ingredients except olive oil, stir.
- Drizzle oil over top and stir. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
- Lasts up to 2 days in refrigerator, Enjoy!