sauces

Looking for something fast, fresh and healthy to spice up this week’s meals? Try one of these versatile, no-cooking necessary sauces that can be used as a marinade, a dip, a salad dressing, and in some cases even a side dish.

Chimichurri

This popular Argentinean condiment can brighten up a variety of dishes with its combination of garlic, herbs and vinegar. We chose this easy to follow recipe from Chow.com which can keep for around 2 days in your refrigerator.

Pesto

Although many of us are accustom to the classic basil based pesto, there are actually numerous herbal variations. Basil, parsley, cilantro—all of these herb garden basics can be made into a delicious sauce which can be added not just to pasta but veggies, salad dressings and meat. One can even alter the recipes to make them vegan by omitting parmesan which also allows them to keep for a longer period of time in the fridge or freezer.

The classic basil pesto from our recipe archives.

Parsley pesto from Saveur

Cilantro pesto from Simply Recipes

11 innovative pesto varieties from Saveur

Chermoula

A favorite in Moroccan cuisine, chermoula is a tangy-savory, herb and spice concoction, which can be used as a delicious, easily prepared condiment, finishing sauce or marinade for your favorite protein. Here’s an easy basic recipe for chermoula from Food Republic.

Salsa Verde

Salsa verde, translating literally to green sauce, is an Italian classic, calling for a tasteful combination of capers, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and parsley. Although parsley is the typical herb chosen for this sauce, salsa verde can actually be made with, or a combination of basil, chives, chervil, tarragon, cilantro, sorrel, marjoram, thyme, mint, rosemary, or any other herb which happens to be thriving in your garden. We chose this recipe from the New York Times.

Harissa

Harissa is a spicy paste, common in North African cuisine, in which chili peppers, paprika, and olive oil are its star ingredients. This hot acutrement is perfect for giving a little needed spice to any meal. This recipe from The Kitchn has a wide variety of uses—from spicing up meat or vegetables to being a great addition to roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs and can even be used as a dip. One of the great things about harissa is that it can be stored for up to 3 weeks in your refrigerator as long as you top the paste off with oil after every use.

You may also want to try this herb based variation on the traditional harissa recipe which goes wonderfully with roasted vegetables or as a fish rub.

Raita

Commonly found as a side dish to many Indian dishes, raita is a perfect accompaniment to spicy curries, used as a dip for flat bread, or eaten as a chunky yogurt based side salad. This recipe posted in the New York Times by Mark Bittman includes directions on how to make traditional Indian raita as well as a few recipe spins such as cucumber-mint, tomato, mixed vegetable, beet, potato, chickpea, and even a banana-coconut raita.

Tzatziki

This crunchy, zesty yogurt sauce features chunks of cucumber which go wonderfully with meatballs, lamb and beef burgers, or spiced veggies. It can be used as a dip for chips and flat breads, added to salads and many other dishes. Food Republic’s recipe even includes directions on how to make your own homemade yogurt, and if you are interested, you can check out our own hand picked recipes to make yogurt here.

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