Quick Sauces for Summer | WYPR

Quick Sauces for Summer

Aug 7, 2018

Chimichurri, one of the sauce recipes Al and Jerry suggest.
Credit dominic lockyer/flickr

During this season of grilling, some of us think that the process stops the moment we take the food off the grill. But you can really do a lot more to put together a fantastic plate. And as the French say, "the sauce is everything." Listen for some sauce recipes.


The Recipes

Francis Mallmann’s Chimichurri




¼ cup water 
1 tbs. coarse salt 
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled 
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
1 cup fresh oregano leaves 
2 tsp. crushed red- pepper flakes 
¼ cup red-wine vinegar 
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Mince the garlic very finely and put in a medium bowl. Mince the parsley and oregano, and add to the garlic, along with the red-pepper flakes. Whisk in the red-wine vinegar, then the olive oil. Whisk in the salted water. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the refrigerator. Let the flavors mingle for at least a day and serve with grilled meats. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks (adapted from Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, by Francis Mallmann with Peter Kaminsky; Artisan, 2009).


Salsa Verde (Italian)




1 ½ cups packed, roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup capers, drained

3 anchovy fillets

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 medium cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated zest from 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place parsley, olive oil, capers, anchovies, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest in work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until parsley is well chopped, about 10 1-second pulses, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and use immediately.


Spinach Pesto




2 cups baby spinach

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

12 cloves garlic, peeled

½ cup pistachios

1 cup parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper


In a small sauce pan set over low heat*, cook the whole garlic cloves in the olive oil until aromatic and soft, approximately 1 hour. Allow to cool to room temperature.

In a blender, add the spinach, pistachios olive oil and garlic cloves. Turn on the blender. Add additional olive oil if the pesto is too thick. Pour into a mixing bowl and whisk in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.


*Extra Virgin Olive Oil starts to lose its aromatics at temperatures above 140°F. We’ve found that poaching the garlic in the olive at 160°F allows the garlic to cook and the olive oil to retain most of its beautiful aromas and taste. We use a digital induction burner to hold the temperature ay 160°F for one hour and the results are amazing! You can use a candy thermometer to try and adjust the heat on the burner to stay around 160°F.






2 cups Greek yogurt

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ cup grated, peeled cucumber

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper


Squeeze excess moisture from the grated cucumber using a clean kitchen towel. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, garlic, cucumber and vinegar or lemon juice. Stir in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.