It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of Salsa Verde. See Exhibit A: the Salsa Verde commonly known as Uncle Ronny’s Salsa Verde. See also Exhibit B: this Salsa Verde, which is almost identical to Exhbit C: the Walnut Salsa Verde you see before you here.
There’s good reason for my mild obsession with these herbaceous, tangy, sharp and beautiful sauces. They are quick and easy to make, require minimal and readily available ingredients, and go great with just about everything! I’d even go so far as to say they make everything taste better! Not to mention the fact that they can be prepared in advance and tucked away in the fridge for at least 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
The only thing that really sets this version apart from this other Salsa Verde is the addition of toasted walnuts, which adds crunch and a nutty flavour that pairs beautifully with chicken, seafood, pork, lamb, beef or grilled vegetables.
Personally, I love to add a tiny bit of natural sweetener, such as maple syrup, honey or agave, to the salsa verde. It really helps to balance out the sharpness from the garlic, acidity from the lemon and spice from the Aleppo pepper. However, you can definitely omit it if you are doing a Whole30. I have made this many times without the sweetener and found it to be delicious all the same.
Which brings me to my next point, there are no hard-and-fast rules with this salsa verde or any other for that matter. I don’t care what anyone tells you. Feel free to take the below recipe as a springing point for all kinds of variations.
Don’t have walnuts? Use pecans or pistachios!
No Aleppo pepper? Try substituting dried chilli flakes of choice.
Don’t like things spicy? Omit the chilli flakes altogether!
No fresh lemon juice? Use a great vinegar!
Fresh out of parsley? Why not throw in some cilantro? Think cilantro tastes like soap? OK, maybe keep the parsley but also add a mixture of fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, or tarragon?
The point is, get creative with it and don’t feel like you are shackled to any specific recipe! I would hate for anyone to miss out on the fun of experimentation because they’re afraid to paint outside the lines! Heck, you might even come up with a version that you prefer better! Remember, you’re the boss, applesauce!
Oh, and because I know I’ll get asked: yes, you can use a food processor to make this Walnut Salsa Verde. I’d probably stay away from blenders because it’s far more difficult to get a coarse ‘salsa’ with the smaller surface area around the blade. You’re more likely to end up with a vinaigrette, which might not be a bad thing. As mentioned above, it’s your call.
Just keep in mind that you are adding walnuts as much for texture as you are for flavour so don’t purée them to a fine paste! Instead, roughly blitz all the other ingredients until chunky and then stir in the toasted and chopped walnuts afterwards.
Personally, I prefer to chop everything by hand because a) it’s more fun and b) it makes for a more rustic texture that allows for the olive oil to separate from the rest of the ingredients and glaze everything it comes into contact with. Think of the oil as a carrier of flavour in this case. It gets infused with all of the other flavours and makes everything that much more delicious!
Walnut Salsa Verde is a quick and easy addition to any meal! Try serving it over grilled chicken, seafood, pork, lamb, beef or vegetables!
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup parsley - finely chopped
- 1 tbsp capers - finely chopped
- 1 shallot - finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp agave nectar optional, omit for Whole30
- 2 anchovy filets - finely chopped optional
- kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
- Add walnuts to a cold non-stick or stainless-steel skillet. Place over medium heat and toast nuts until warm and fragrant. Toss regularly to avoid burning.
- Transfer nuts to a cutting board and place garlic overtop. Let nuts gently heat the garlic to mellow out some of the sharp flavour.
- Add nuts and garlic to a medium-sized mixing bowl along with the remaining ingredients.
- Stir everything until well combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as required.
- Walnut Salsa Verde can be stored in a sealed jar for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer.