If you're looking for a sauce that packs a ton of flavor with a few ingredients and can be used in many different ways then you've come to the right place!
This sauce is pretty much a pesto. Pesto doesn't have to be made from the classic ingredients of pine nuts, basil, olive oil, and pecorino. This combination of ingredients refers to pesto alla genovese the pesto that we all know. The word pesto means to pound or crush which was the traditional way to make pesto by using a mortar and pestle even though nowadays most people use a food processor* to produce this creamy herb based sauce.
This sauce uses lots of parsley instead of basil and omits the nuts and cheese so it is quite different from the traditional pesto alla genovese, but that won't stop you from slathering it on crusty bread, tossing it with al dente pasta, marinading chicken, drizzle over cooked fish or pizza, or just eating it straight from the jar.
The best part of this sauce is that you can make a really big batch, pour it into ice cube trays, freeze, pop out the cubes into a zip-top bag and keep it in the freezer so you always have some on hand.
The amounts can be changed to your taste. The flavors are strong and aggressive so if you want more or less of any of the ingredients just have fun with it and make it your own!
Multipurpose Parsley Lemon Pesto
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
1 large bunch of parsley, hard thick stems removed
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
Place the garlic in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Pulse until garlic is minced. This is an important step as it ensures that the garlic is finely minced before you add the rest of the ingredients and don't end up with large chunks of garlic in the sauce. Tear the parsley and add it the work bowl along with the zest, lemon juice, and salt. Puree until everything is finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly stream in the olive oil through the feed tube. Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Pour the sauce into a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or see note above about easily freezing the sauce.
To marinade chicken - place any cut of chicken in a zip-top bag and pour some marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and spread the sauce around so it fully coats the chicken. Marinade 1-4 hours and then cook on the grill or roast in the oven.
Salad dressing - mix 1/4 cup sauce with 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp water and toss with your favorite salad greens
*If you don't have a food processor this sauce can be made by hand with just a bit of hard work. Finely mince the garlic and parsley by hand then add to a bowl with the salt, zest, and lemon juice. Slowly stream in the olive oil until everything is combined. This is what I do on Pesach since we don't have a kosher for pesach food processor - it's a great addition to matza pizza!