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The difference between salsa verde, gremolata and chimichurri

We break down the differences between salsa verde, gremolata and chimichurri.  

Salsa verde 

Originating from Mexico, salsa verde is a sauce made using tomatillos (not tomatoes), which are roasted or boiled then blitzed in a food processor along with lime, jalapeño, coriander and onion. Since we don’t often find tomatillos in SA, a similar substitute would be unripe tomatoes roasted with a squeeze of lime. 

Roast 600g tomatillos in the oven until their skins are slightly blackened. Add these, along with 1 chopped onion, 1 punnet (20g) fresh coriander as well as milled salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until a sauce consistency is reached. Serve with any Mexican dish such as nachos, quesadillas or enchiladas.   


This Italian condiment is made from finely chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. It takes the form of a semi-dry but fragrant garnish, as no liquid is added to loosen the mixture. Served with veal, lamb or fish, it adds depth of flavour to dishes that would otherwise be one-dimensional. 

Finely chop 2 punnets (40g) parsley and grate 1 garlic clove. Combine in a bowl with the zest of 1 lemon and work together using a spoon, adding salt to taste. If available, a pestle and mortar will help to easily bruise the ingredients, encouraging more flavour.


Originating from Argentina, chimichurri is made by combining oil with finely chopped parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, red chilli and red wine vinegar to achieve a tangy, herbal sauce. Chopping the ingredients is essential to achieve a chunky, loose consistency – the goal is not a blended, smooth dip. 

Combine 1⁄2 cup olive oil and 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar with 2 punnets (40g) finely chopped fresh parsley, 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 finely chopped, deseeded red chilli. Finish with 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on top of lamb, stirred through pasta or as a salad dressing.

Words by: Sjaan Van Der Ploeg
Photographs: Fresh Living Magazine  

Also read: 4 lip-smacking dipping sauces 


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