Parsley in French is persil, so it’s not surprising that persillade is a parsley sauce, combining the freshness of parsley, with butter, garlic, and lemon. It is also called Sauce Persil.
Personally, I love all of the green sauces, like pesto, gremolata, and chimichurri, so I knew I’d love persillade.
I was inspired to make it because of my friend Stéphane’s blog My French Heaven, specifically the post is entitled “The Power of Love, Laughter, and Persillade.” (It’s one of my favorites!)
On that post he has a recipe for grilled scallops with persillade, but it’s a wonderful addition to not only seafood but meat and poultry as well. I’m making it for roast lamb.
Parsley, I feel is really an underused and appreciated herb, having filled the role in fine cuisine as primarily a decoration. But I use it in just about everything – vinaigrettes, pestos, marinades, and so forth.
There are many variations for persillade, I discovered. What I’ve noticed mostly is the use of olive oil instead of butter, and either lemon zest, lemon juice, or no lemon. But the parsley and garlic are always clearly the main players.
Here’s what I did.
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, rinsed, patted dry
3-4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsalted butter
Squeeze of lemon
Place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and process. Add 3 ounces of melted butter and the salt and process, but don’t over process. You want to see the parsley and garlic bits.
Place the remaining butter in a small saucepan and melt it over medium heat. Stir in the persillade and give the mixture a good stir, and once you smell the garlic, remove the saucepan from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon.
Serve immediately so the butter stays warm and melted. It’s challenging to keep the parsley and garlic in suspension in the butter, so the persillade ends up looking like a green blob.
With scallops and shrimp, they can be tossed in the persillade. I served the persillade with lamb slices and roasted tomatoes.
Stéphane claims that no one really loves escargots. It’s all about the persillade. He might be right!