Three Green Herb Sauces

Bright, fresh green herbs awaken our senses.

Arugula Pesto

Almost any herb or green can be tossed into a pesto, including kale, basil, parsley, cilantro and arugula. Dollop this pesto in hot pasta, chicken chili, on top of beans, turkey roll-ups or in stuffed shells.

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves
½ cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
4 cups packed arugula leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup water
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

  1. Place garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add the nuts and pulse.
  3. Add arugula and process until finely chopped.
  4. With machine running, slowly add the olive oil and water until a paste forms.
  5. Stir in the cheese and salt.

Nutrition Information

Serves 20
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Calories 57; Total fat 5g; Sat. Fat 1g; Chol. 2mg; Sodium 69mg; Carb 1g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 2g; Potassium 33mg; Phosphorus 33mg


Chimichurri Verde

This zesty green sauce comes Argentina makes a great marinade and sauce for chicken, beef, fish and shellfish. Try chimichurri in place of cocktail sauce with cold shrimp. It takes well to any combination of herbs and spices. Fresh oregano and red pepper flakes are good additions.

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped; or ¼ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Nutrition Information

Serves 16
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Calories 44; Total fat 5g; Sat. Fat 1g; Chol. 0mg; Sodium 76mg; Carb. 1g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 0g; Potassium 38mg; Phosphorus 6mg


Gremolata

Recipe by Jill Melton, MS, RD

Gremolata is a traditional accompaniment to the Milanese braised veal shank dish osso buco alla Milanese, and brightens up steak, vegetables and beans. Add Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese and olive oil to serve with roast chicken.

Ingredients

1 cup loosely-packed parsley
1 clove garlic
2 lemons

Directions

  1. Finely chop parsley.
  2. With a microplane or fine grater, grate the garlic and then the lemons (avoiding the bitter white pith underneath the skin) until you have 1 tablespoon of zest.
  3. Combine parsley, garlic and lemon.
  4. Serve with pasta and olive oil, fish, roast chicken or stew.

Serving Variation

Parmesan Gremolata: Add ¼ cup finely-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil to parsley mixture.

Nutrition Information

Serves 8
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Calories 4; Total fat 0g; Sat. Fat 0g; Chol. 0mg; Sodium 4mg; Carb 1g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 0g; Potassium 45mg; Phosphorus 5mg

Jill Melton
Jill Melton, MS, RD, is editor and founder of Edible Nashville Magazine.