Lemon-Herb Sauce Recipe

Lemon-herb sauce is a versatile and delicious addition to your culinary arsenal. This refreshing and savory homemade sauce can elevate any dish with its perfect blend of lemon, garlic, parsley, and olive oil. You don’t need to be an expert to create this delightful topping, as it requires minimal ingredients and simple steps.

Begin by gathering fresh ingredients, such as lemons, parsley, garlic, and high-quality olive oil. The flavor of this sauce hinges on the zesty, tangy essence of the lemon paired with the earthiness of parsley and the aromatic warmth of garlic, so choose your produce carefully. A pinch of salt will elevate the flavors further, adding complexity and depth to the recipe.

With your ingredients in hand, prepare to create a sauce that will transform your meals from ordinary to extraordinary. The herby, zesty goodness of lemon-herb sauce will imbue your dishes with brightness and a burst of flavor, whether you use it as a marinade, a dressing, or a condiment. Be confident in your ability to create this simple yet scrumptious sauce, knowing your taste buds will surely thank you.

Making Lemon-Herb Sauce

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Gathering Ingredients

To make a homemade lemon-herb sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, for zest and juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves,
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil,
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions,
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Optional ingredients include:

  • Mint leaves, for a refreshing twist
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce, for a creamier texture
  • 2 tbsp mayo, for a tangy and creamy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, for extra herby flavor

Preparing the Sauce

First, wash and dry your fresh herbs to ensure that they’re clean. In a food processor or blender, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, and any optional ingredients you choose. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined, but do not overdo it. You want a slightly chunky, herby texture.

Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender if you don’t have a food processor or a blender.

Storing and Serving Suggestions

Lemon-herb sauce is versatile, and it makes for a delicious heart-healthy topping, dip, or dressing to elevate your meals. Use it to enhance the flavor of dishes like meat, chicken, grilled fish, salmon, pasta, steak, and roasted vegetables.

This sauce is not only low in sodium and cholesterol, but it is also an excellent choice for those following a paleo diet. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You may repurpose leftover herbs with this recipe, too, so don’t hesitate to experiment with different combinations of fresh herbs.

Remember, lemon-herb sauce can easily become your go-to homemade sauce for a wide range of dishes. Enjoy its zesty, savory taste with your favorite meals.

Nutritional Value and Dietary Considerations

Lemon-herb sauce not only enhances the flavor of your dishes but also provides a decent amount of nutrients. The primary ingredients in this sauce are lemon, herbs, and some form of oil.

Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing about 51% of the daily value (DV) per 100g. Vitamin C is essential as it boosts the immune system and aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. In addition, lemons contain small amounts of vitamins E and K, potassium, and dietary fiber.

The herbs used in the sauce, such as parsley or basil, contribute significant amounts of vitamins A and K, iron, and antioxidants. These nutrients support healthy vision, blood clotting, and overall heart health.

Now, let’s take a look at the nutritional value of the sauce (per tablespoon):

NutrientAmount% Daily Value
Calories60~
Fat6g8%
Saturated Fat1g5%
Carbohydrates<1g<1%
Protein0g~

While the sauce provides essential nutrients, it’s important to be mindful of the oil used to make it. The majority of the sauce’s calories and fat content come from this component. Choosing a heart-healthy oil like olive oil helps to lower the amount of saturated fat in the final dish.

For those on special diets or with medical reasons to limit their fat or calorie intake, consider using less oil or a lighter version, such as a vinaigrette, to reduce calories and saturated fat content.

When it comes to dietary considerations, it’s worth noting that lemon-herb sauce is typically gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans, depending on the ingredients chosen. However, always check labels and verify the source of each ingredient to ensure suitability for your specific dietary needs.

In summary, lemon-herb sauce can be a flavorful and nutritious addition to your meals. By being mindful of the oil used in the sauce and considering your dietary needs, it’s easy to create a delicious and nutrient-rich addition to your dishes without significantly impacting your overall daily values.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the essential ingredients for a lemon-herb sauce?

The essential ingredients for a lemon-herb sauce are fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil or butter, minced garlic, your choice of fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, or cilantro), salt, and black pepper.

How do I prepare lemon-herb sauce for chicken?

To prepare lemon-herb sauce for chicken, start by combining lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil or melted butter, minced garlic, finely chopped herbs, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined. Marinate the chicken in the sauce for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to a few hours in the refrigerator. Cook the chicken on a grill, in a skillet, or bake it in the oven, basting it with the sauce during cooking to keep it moist and flavorful.

What is a recipe for creamy lemon-herb sauce?

A recipe for creamy lemon-herb sauce includes the following ingredients: lemon juice, lemon zest, heavy cream, minced garlic, fresh herbs, butter, salt, and pepper. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, and then add minced garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add lemon juice and zest. Whisk in heavy cream, being careful to not let it boil. Season the sauce with chopped herbs, salt, and pepper, and simmer it for a few minutes, until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve immediately.

How can I make a thick lemon-herb sauce?

To make a thick lemon-herb sauce, you can use a thickening agent such as cornstarch or flour. Start by making a slurry, a mixture of equal parts cornstarch or flour and cold water. Whisk the slurry until smooth. Slowly add the slurry to your simmering sauce, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Note that the sauce will likely thicken further as it cools.

What is the best way to create lemon-herb sauce for pasta?

The best way to create lemon-herb sauce for pasta is to begin by cooking your pasta according to package instructions. In a separate pan, melt butter or heat olive oil, and then add minced garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Next, add lemon juice, lemon zest, and your choice of chopped fresh herbs. Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. You may also add some pasta water to thin the sauce.

Which herbs work best in a lemon-based sauce?

The herbs that work best in a lemon-based sauce are those that complement the bright citrus flavors. Some examples include parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, and cilantro. You can experiment with different herb combinations to find your preferred flavors.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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