Fresh Herb Sauces

Nov. 20, 2021, 1:02 p.m.

These recipes all use fresh herbs which are going to be in season in the spring and summer.  Enjoy!


This recipe is from Rick Bayless and is very versatile to use as a sauce or a dip.

Here is the recipe:

½ head of garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
4 to 5 fresh serrano chiles, stems removed
1 large bunch cilantro, (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped (about 2 cups loosely-packed)
1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped (about 2 cups loosely-packed)
1cup extra virgin olive oil
2 generous teaspoons sea salt

Set a large (10-inch) skillet over medium heat.  Lay in the garlic and chiles and roast, turning regularly, until soft and browned in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 for the garlic.
If you’re really short on time, you can soften them in a microwave: cut a slit in each garlic clove and combine with the chiles in a microwavable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top and microwave on high for 30 seconds.
Cool until handleable, then slip off the garlic’s papery husks. Roughly chop everything (no need to remove the chile seeds).
In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and chiles with the cilantro, parsley, olive oil and salt. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until nearly smooth (it should look a little like pesto). Transfer to a pint-size jar and store, covered, in the refrigerator, where it will last several months.

Uses for adobo:
Toss with pasta and a little grated Mexican queso anejo, Parmesan or Romano
Mix into eggs before scrambling or making an omelet
Mix into sour cream (or mayonnaise) for a dip or sandwich spread
Whisk into a simple vinaigrette or creamy dressing
Smear over grilled or roasted vegetables
Drizzle on bean dip or hummus


from Bon Appetit
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Fresno chile or red jalapeño, finely chopped
3–4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely chopped
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine shallot, chile, garlic, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon sea salt in a medium bowl. Let sit 10 minutes.
Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano.
Using a fork, whisk in oil.

Uses for chimichurri:
Toss with hot grilled or roasted vegetables for a terrific side dish.
Stir some into mayonnaise for a flavorful sandwich spread.
Grill some bread and dip it into chimichurri sauce.
Add it to your favorite pasta salad.
It’s typically served with steak, but it’s wonderful with chicken, too.
Use it as a burger topping.
Make a wrap with roasted vegetables and feta cheese, using chimichurri as the sauce.
Slow-cook some pork with chimichurri for an easy, delicious pork stew.
Coat chicken tenders with chimichurri then panko breadcrumbs, then bake at 425°F until crispy and cooked through.
It’s terrific over eggs especially with some avocado on the side.
Make a chorizo and chimichurri sandwich.
Add a dollop to a bowl of soup.
Slice a fresh tomato and top it with chimichurri for a healthy snack.
Stir some into mashed potatoes. Make Chimichurri potato cakes with any leftovers.
Grill halloumi cheese and top it with chimichurri for an easy appetizer.
Add it as a topping to grilled steak tacos.
Make a chimichurri chicken salad.
Use it as a salad dressing with lots of chopped veggies.
Toss it with warm cannellini beans for an easy side dish.

from Pioneer Woman

2 - 3 large bunches of fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Put the basil leaves, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper in the work bowl of a food processor or in a blender. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the work bowl when necessary.

While machine is running, pour in olive oil. Process until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. If you’d like your pesto to be looser, add a few more tablespoons of olive oil and process to combine.

Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, until ready to use.

Uses for pesto:
Use as a pizza sauce: just spread it on the pizza crust as you would regular pizza sauce. Especially perfect with vegetable or chicken pizza.
Stir it into quiche filling.
Mix it with heavy cream and pour it over pasta.
Stir it into a chicken pasta salad.
Mix it with mayonnaise for a perfect panini spread.
Add a generous amount to the sauce for chicken Parmigiana.