“She pulls on her heavy boots and carries the water bucket past the rose bushes, past the herb garden, and back to the barn behind the house. Her steps kick up the scents of herbs: thyme, mint, and lemon balm. The plants send up new stems each year from the roots that survived the winter and grew up again along the path. The perfumed walk is a mystical part of her world. Walking here is her favorite part of mornings. Sometimes, this is the highlight of her day.”
― J.J. Brown
One of the simple pleasures of my life is to grab a handful of herbs from one of the pots or vegetable gardens at my back door to use in our evening meal.
This green sauce recipe takes just a minute or two to whiz together, and it elevates all kinds of meals to a new level of yum.
The sauce itself is vegan. It’s also sugar, dairy and gluten free.
I love the versatility of this sauce. I often use it as a dip with chopped up vegetables, or I fold it through a little yogurt (use coconut yogurt if you’re dairy free) for a creamier version – it’s also good with chunks of fresh bread or crackers.
You can spoon this sauce over steamed or baked vegetables, toss it through a bowl of pasta, add it at the end of a risotto dish, or serve it with fish, chicken or any kind of meat.
It’s a fabulous accompaniment to barbeques. I’ve even used it as a salad dressing.
I’ve given you this recipe base upon parsley and basil, but you can experiment with whatever other soft herbs and edible leaves, including bitter greens, you have to hand. Just a caution on bitter greens – use only 1/4 to 1/2 of your total herbs as bitter ones or the sauce becomes a bit too bitey. This recipe makes about a jar’s worth of sauce.
An equal-ish mix of parsley and basil leaves to make three cups. (If you have a little mint, thyme, chives or dill feel free to chuck a bit of that in too!) Up to three cloves of garlic. Juice and zest of one lemon, a tablespoon of gherkins, a tablespoon of capers, up to one half cup of extra virgin olive oil, pinch of salt and a grind or two of pepper, half (or one small) red salad onion.
Tear the leaves off the basil and add in the tops of the parsley. It’s okay for there to be some parsley stalk – don’t be too particular. Rinse if necessary.
Keep one cup of leaves aside and chop roughly. Dump the other two cups in a food processor or blender.
Add the peeled garlic, gherkins, capers, lemon zest and juice and 1/4 cup of oil in your processor or blender.
Whiz until combined and smooth.
Spoon the green sauce into a bowl.
Add the chopped herbs and finely diced red onion to the sauce and stir to combine. This gives a lovely contrast of textures. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve and enjoy!
If there is any sauce left over it will keep in a jar in the fridge for up to one week.
The vegan version – green sauce spooned over roasted cauliflower and sweet potato with a fresh garden salad.
The meat-arian version – green sauce served over barbecued sausages with roasted cauliflower and sweet potato with a fresh garden salad.
(Tip – if you have sausages left over, use them the next day in pasta – slice sausages and add to the green sauce then stir through pasta)