Verde Sawse

by Sam Bilton on May 11, 2018 No comments

Serves 4 – 6

This is a Medieval Verde Sawse (green sauce) inspired by a recipe in the Forme of Cury (1390). I made it recently for Joe Talbot on BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex. It falls somewhere between a salsa verde and a pesto. Joe and I agreed that it would make a excellent sauce for pasta. Just add a tablespoon of light olive oil or rapeseed oil to every tablespoon of the sauce before stirring into cooked pasta. Otherwise serve it on the side with soused mackerel or grilled lamb/chicken.


  • 2 generous handfuls fresh green herbs to include parsley, chives (or wild garlic if in season), rosemary, sorrel (if available), thyme and mint, washed and thoroughly dried
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 30-50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white vermouth
  • ½-1 tsp salt (according to taste)
  • A little lemon juice to season (especially if no sorrel is included) and honey if desired


Remove any woody stems from the herbs. Place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and process until you have a smooth puree. Add more breadcrumbs or vermouth/water to achieve the desired consistency. You can also add a squeeze of honey if you prefer a slightly sweeter result.

Sam BiltonVerde Sawse

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