Parsley Sauce

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how to make parsley sauce

This parsley sauce starts with a white roue - the classic method of making a white sauce.

Below is a short video which I made for my Herb Guide website, or you can follow the step by step instructions with photos.

You will need:-

  • 1 Tablespoon /1 oz (25g) butter
  • 1 Tablespoon /1 oz (25g) plain flour
  • 1 Cup/1/2 pint (300 ml) milk
  • handful parsley - fresh or 2 Tablespoons dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
herb chopper

I like to use fresh parsley - about a handful.

If you haven't got fresh, then use a tablespoon of dried or a couple of tablespoons of frozen.

fresh parsley

Chop the parsley finely.

I use this chopper and block - it's double bladed and with a few strokes you've got finely chopped parsley.

fresh chopped parsley

You need an ounce of plain flour - use a good quality flour as it tends to be less lumpy.

You can sift it if you prefer, but i tend not to - you'll see on step 2 how I deal with it.

tablespoon of plain flour

An ounce of butter or whatever type of spread you use.

Butter has a little more flavor I think.

It is easy to make a larger quantity of sauce - just double up or treble etc.

tablespoon of butter

Put the butter into a pan.

I use a non-stick one which I save specifically for milk and sauces.

It's best if it has a heavy bottom as it helps the heat diffuse evenly.

melting butter in the pan

Over a medium heat, gently melt the butter.

It should just begin to sizzle, but not too much as you don't want it to burn. 

melted butter

Add the flour.Using a spatula or wooden spoon (I like to use silicone as they are flexible and won't scratch the pan)Look carefully here and see that I am taking the flour from the edge and mixing it bit by bit into the melted butter.

flour added to melted butter

Here's about half of it blended in.

Using the back of the spoon, scrape the flour away from the pile, squash any lumps and blend away.

blending flour into butter to make a roux

Here we are, nearly done now - the roue is just about made.

If you use equal quantities as in the recipe, you will be able to blend it as smoothly as this.

If you leave lumps at this stage, your fish sauces will be lumpy.

partially made roux

Here is the roue, smoothly mixed - all incorporated.You need to cook this over a low heat for about 2 minutes.Keep stirring and don't let it burn - you are making a white roue for white fish sauces.

smooth roux

You will need 1/2 pint (300 ml) of cold fresh milk.

This is what you're now going to blend into your cooked roue.

fresh cold milk

Once again, I favour silicone utensils for this.

A whisk is brilliant as it helps you keep the parsley fish sauce really smooth.

mixing milk into roux

Add about a quarter of the milk.Stir and whisk to get the paste smooth.It's vital to incorporate all of the milk before adding more.

whisking milk

Here you can see how smooth the paste is.Don't be impatient, the whole process takes 10 to 15 minutes, but the results are far better than a packet parsley sauce mix!

mixing milk into roux

Add another quarter of the milk.As you get better at making this, you will be able to add it in two or three lots - for this tutorial, I recommend you do it in fours.

blending milk to make sauce

Once again, here's a photo of the blended paste.

It's smooth and glossy - just the way it should be.

If you've got lumps, then use the back of your spoon to squash them down - it's not the end of the world!

milk incorporated into roux

After half the milk has been added, cook the sauce for a couple of minutes.

It will thicken during this time and become a paste again.

cooking the sauce

Remove from the heat and add another quarter of the milk.

adding more milk

Whisk and stir again until it is blended and the sauce becomes smooth again.

Add the rest of the milk.

blending the milk

Return to a medium heat and stir all the time.The sauce will thicken again and you must then decide if you want it a bit thinner or if it's OK as it is - whisk a tablespoon of milk at a time until it's the right consistency.
Cook for about 8 minutes in total, stirring often.

cooking the sauce

Add the parsley to the sauce.

Check the seasoning at this stage - go easy on the salt, but you may like a few twists of pepper.

adding parsley to cooked sauce

Allow the sauce to cook for another minute or so.Serve hot with plainly cooked fish - cod, salmon etc or use to make a fish pie.I shouldn't really mention this, being the writer of a fish site - but it's also fantastic with gammon steaks!

cooked parsley sauce

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