A fresh tasting, easy to make parsley sauce to lend flavor to your meats, fish, shellfish, vegetables and starches.
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Read on for useful information and step-by-step pictures (2 mins)
What is Persillade?
Persillade is a French fresh parsley sauce used to season a variety of foods.
The pesto like mixture of parsley, finely chopped with garlic, oil and acid such as vinegar or lemon juice has always been used in French cuisine. Most often it is associated with oysters or snails but its uses truly span the culinary spectrum. Often times other aromatic herbs such as chives or mint are added to the sauce.
The name comes from the the French word persil which means parsley. The correct pronounciation for persillade is per-si-yad.
What Does Persillade Taste Like?
Parsley. And while its unique flavor dominates, it is tastefully aided by the blend of other ingredients and the resulting sauce is fresh, herbaceous and balanced.
About This Parsley Sauce Recipe
We give you a base persillade recipe and also suggest two additions to elevate the flavor base. One of them adds umami notes by way of cured anchovies, the other one brings a touch of brininess by way of capers.
Neither ingredient stands out on its own, you’d be hard pressed to guess it has been included. But together they boost the savoriness of the parsley sauce.
You Will Need
Fresh flat leaf parsley. You can discard the stalks, even though a few small ones will boost the flavor.
Chives. To add an underlying element of pungent savoriness.
Oil and vinegar. We prefer extra virgin olive oil for its full flavor and lemon juice instead of a mild vinegar. We also use the zest of the lemon to introduce bright citrusy notes.
Garlic. Essential ingredient, make sure that the cloves are not too old.
Anchovies and capers. These are completely optional but highly recommended. Both amplify the umami dimension.
Persillade vs Chimichurri
The principal difference between persillade and chimichurri is the main herb used, followed by the acidic and other ingredients.
While persillade is centered around parsley to make chimichurri you simply must have oregano (fresh preferred, but dried works as well once reconstituted). Parsley is the other herb most commonly used in the Latin American condiment, but it is not the lead ingredient as in French parsley sauce.
Here is a recipe for authentic Argentinian chimichurri if you are interested.
How to Make Persillade Parsley Sauce
You can finely chop all the ingredients by hand and mix them together but a few pulses in a food processor make for faster work.
- Rough chop the parsley leaves, chives and garlic, then add them to the bowl of a food processor.
- Add add the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, anchovies and capers and pulse about twenty times.
- In between pulses scrape the mixture down the sides of the food processor. You are shooting for a pesto like consistency.
How to Use Persillade?
Simply spoon prepared persillade over roasts or grilled beef (below shown with grilled bavette steak), lamb chops, pork (especially gammon ham), chicken, white fish like cod and haddock; seafood like shrimp, scallops or lobster. It is also great with fishcakes and crabcakes. Or try it on pasta with some butter, salt and black pepper.
You can also add it to omelettes, green beans or other vegetables, potatoes (these boiled potatoes for example), pasta salads, soups. It is a most versatile seasoning.
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Persillade (French Parsley Sauce)
A classic French seasoning, persillade sauce is used to spice up a variety of steaks and other proteins, vegetables, soups, salads and starches. The basic recipe stops before you add anchovies and capers. If you do choose to add them you will enjoy a fuller flavored parsley sauce.
- 2 1/2 cups flat leaf parsley leaves
- 5-6 chives (or 2 green onions, green parts only)
- 2-3 garlic cloves (to taste)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 cured anchovy fillets (optional)
- 1 tbsp capers (optional)
1. Give the parsley leaves, peeled garlic cloves and chives a rough chop. Add them to the bowl of a food processor.
2. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovies and capers (if using).
3. Close the lid and pulse about twenty times. In between pulses scrape down any of the mixture that collects on the sides of the bowl in order to ensure even blending.
4. Once the persillade has a pesto like consistency transfer it to a bowl and allow it to spend about one hour refrigerated before serving. If not using immediately store in an airtight container, refrigerated. It will keep well for days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 38Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
What a delicious and perfectly balanced sauce! I followed your recipe exactly and opted for 3 cloves of garlic, 6 anchovies and the capers. Will be using this with pasta and meats. I wouldn’t change a thing!
Milena Perrine says
So glad you appreciated it, Amy! It truly has so many uses!