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Parsley Sauce for Fish or Seafood


Parsley coulis

Parsley sauce

Hank Shaw
This is one of my go-to sauces for fish, especially delicate fish such as flounder, turbot, John Dory, walleye or crappie. It also works very well with cod or other white fish. I generally don't use this parsley sauce with oily fish such as mackerel, or full-flavored fish such as salmon. This recipe makes enough to serve 4-6 people.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 bunches of parsley, about 2 cups loosely packed
  • Tops of 3-4 green garlic heads (optional)
  • 3 scallions or green onions, green parts only
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fish or vegetable stock
  • 2 T. unsalted butter


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. It should taste like the sea. Prepare an ice water bath in a bowl.

When the water is boiling, dunk the parsley, scallions and garlic greens into the water and boil for 60 seconds. Remove and submerge in the ice water bath.

Pat the herbs dry, then remove main stems of the parsley and roughly chop all the herbs. Place in a food processor.

Buzz in a food processor until it is a smooth puree. Add fish stock from the 1 cup measure as you go -- if you need to -- in order to get the herbs to puree properly.

Dump the puree into a very fine sieve set over a bowl. Let the mixture drain for 5 minutes. Collect the bright green liquid in the bowl and reserve it.

With a rubber spatula, scrape and push the puree through the sieve by turning and pressing and scraping it, over and over. From time to time remove the "good stuff" that collects on the bottom of the strainer and let it collect in your bowl. Keep at this process for at least 15 minutes, or until the puree begins to look dry.

If the now-strained puree in the bowl looks too much like a paste, add a little bit of the reserved green liquid or fish stock and mix -- you want it to be a thick liquid.

This can be made up to 2 days ahead, if you keep it covered in the fridge.

To finish, reheat the puree -- do not let it boil -- and whisk in the butter. Turn off the heat and serve at once.

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