Ají Verde (Peruvian-Style Green Sauce)

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Ají Verde, the iconic Peruvian green sauce, gets its robust, luscious flavor from Ají Amarillo paste, lime, scallions, and plenty of cilantro (some versions also include cheese and/or Huacatay, or "black mint," paste).

Peruvian Style Green Sauce Recipe
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Yield:
1 cup

The fresh mint in this version isn't at all traditional, but it is delicious — feel free to skip it if you'd prefer. Ají Verde is terrific served alongside rotisserie chicken or grilled meats, but it's equally good with roasted or grilled fish. Any leftovers make an excellent dip for crudité or topping for roasted vegetables like potatoes; or thin it out with lemon juice and olive oil for a creamy salad dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 small limes)

  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro, trimmed, leaves and stems coarsely chopped (about 2 packed cups)

  • 1 medium garlic clove, coarsely chopped

  • 5 scallions, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  • 1 tablespoon ajî Amarillo (Peruvian yellow chile) paste or 1 tablespoon seeded and coarsely chopped serrano or jalapeño chile

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Process on low, gradually increasing speed, until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover and chill sauce at least 1 hour before serving. (This allows flavors to meld and mellow out.) Sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

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