From America's Test Kitchen
When done right, this bright green sauce transforms even the most unforgettable dishes into something memorable. It should be a balanced yet bold sauce with a thick, uniform texture.
Traditionally, parsley is the main ingredient in salsa verde, but for this variation we chose basil. Since tasters couldn’t detect a difference between finely hand-chopped basil and that chopped in a food processor, we opted for the easier food processor method.
In our initial attempts, the solids collected on the bottom of the bowl and the oil pooled on top. After a little research, we discovered that some recipes use hard-cooked egg yolks or bread to stabilize and thicken the sauce. Egg yolks created an off-putting flavor and texture, but the addition of bread created a top-notch sauce. After toasting the bread to remove moisture and prevent gumminess, we processed it with oil and lemon juice, creating a smooth base for our sauce. With the texture fixed, we turned to the remaining ingredients. Lemon zest nicely accented the fresh, clean flavor of basil. The salty, pungent bite of capers alone beat out cornichons and olives. Finally, garlic, anchovy filets, and a pinch of salt rounded out the flavors. The flavors were bright and assertive, the texture lush and well-blended.
Makes a generous 1 1/2 cups