Salsa di Parmigiano
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Yesterday I spent the afternoon with two of my aunts in northern Virginia. Over the course of seven hours, we found a reason to use this sauce — salsa di Parmigiano — three times.
For our lunch, we spread it onto French bread and made paninis filled with artichoke hearts, golden cherry tomatoes, and fontina cheese; for the children’s dinner, we tossed it with pasta; for our meze-style dinner, we spooned it onto grilled bread, which we ate all evening along with some olives, feta, and various other treats.
It was a delicious spread, but this dipping sauce received the most attention by everyone who joined the party.
This is a nice little sauce to know. Made mostly in the food processor, it comes together in less than ten minutes and makes enough to last you for weeks. Apparently, at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, every table receives a bowl of the sauce along with crispy bread before the main courses arrive. Sounds heavenly.Print
Salsa di Parmigiano
- Total Time: 15 minutes
Source: Michael Chiarello
- 1/2 pound Parmesan, not too dry
- 1/2 pound Asiago cheese, not too dry
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 2, but start with 1)
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Remove any rind from the cheeses and chop the cheeses into rough 1-inch chunks. Pulse the cheeses and garlic in a food processor until reduced to a fine, pea-sized gravel. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and stir in the scallions.
- Add the oregano, rubbing it between your fingers over the bowl, red pepper flakes, 1 cup of the olive oil and black pepper. Stir. If mixture seems dry, add more olive oil by the 1/4 cup. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before using.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Italian, American
Keywords: Salsa di Parmigiano
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
37 Comments on “Salsa di Parmigiano”
I love how this is called a ‘salsa’ but it is pretty much cheese and oil. I was interested from your description and then I saw the photos of the processed cheese and I got really excited!
I think I will have to make this at my friends house next week when I go stay – she loves cheese!
What a fantastic idea, salsa di parmigiano! I usually just bite chunks off, now I can eat it more elegantly 🙂
Such a perfect recipe for this time of year and cheese lovers! Yum yum yum
That sauce sounds brilliant!
Looks great though the herb in the picture looks a lot like thyme, rather than oregano, no?
Colleen — it’s actually Greek oregano. My mother always brings me bags of it — it is in branch form — it has a nice flavor. It’s sometimes a pain bc the little twigs break off into whatever you are adding but overall i love it.
Every single time a new post pops up in my feed, I want to jump up and make it. Oh, I will be making this, yes I will.
Thank you Darcy! Your inspiration as usual.
I just made this for the in-laws yesterday and they loved it! Thanks for the great recipe – it was really easy to throw together as well.
Jolene — So happy to hear this! It’s hard to go wrong with a pound of cheese, 1.5 cups olive oil, garlic, and herbs 🙂
What a fun idea for an advent calendar. I’m wishing I’d stumbled upon this post last week. Guess I’ll just have to save the idea for next year. What kinds of fun goodies did you put in each bag?
Emmy — so glad you like it! Well, I basically just scrounged some things up from around the house, mostly things that the kids have sort of forgotten about — bouncy balls, mini play doughs, mini bubbles (birthday party favors), silly putty, chocolate, mini snow globes, mini ornaments, matchbox cars, pop-up sponges, etc. If I were making it for my husband, I would have a harder time filling the bags. He would appreciate chapstick, maybe some herbal tea (don’t tell him I told you), wallet sized photos of the kids, etc.
What an excellent idea for an advent calendar! I’ll have to keep this in mind for next year. What kinds of fun goodies did you put in the bags?
Oh my, this “salsa” looks AMAZING!
Thinking I’ll make a test batch this weekend, and another batch for a Christmas present for my husband s Italian aunt.
Lollie … ooooouuuu — that will be a real test. i hope the Italian aunt approves!
Holy moly!! This was soooooo good. I balked at first, after looking at quantity of cheese required. But a little of this goes a long way and it is so versatile. I served it as a an
“horderve” of sorts (with thin slices of baguette) for a cookie party I had. Then used it on sandwiches, then some eggs and more recently loving it on pasta. Its ridiculously easy to make for all that flavor. This is going to be a regular in my fridge. oh yeah and I didn’t wait more than 1/2 hour for it to marinate 😉 Thanks so much Alexandra!! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog and recipes.
Pia — I know, the quantity of cheese is a little shocking, but it’s so true what you say — a little goes a long way and its uses seem to be unlimited. Love the idea of spooning it over eggs…haven’t tried that one yet. Thanks so much for your kind words. Happy New Year!
Loved the salsa!!! MAde it last night. Was eating before the 4 hours, Actually started right after I made it. Just one question, How long will this last? Should it be stored on counter or fridge? Thanks again for the recipe.
Barbara — so happy to hear this! I would store it in the fridge, and if time allows, bring it to room temperature before serving/using. And, I have had a jar in my fridge for about two weeks now that I am still using — I used about 3/4 of it within a couple of days, and have been using the rest on pasta for my children’s dinner. So, while the authorities might not recommend storing it for much more than a week, I think you are safe for at least a couple of weeks if not longer. I think the olive oil helps preserve it? Don’t quote me 🙂 Happy 2013! Thanks for writing in.
I have been to Bottega and always wondered how to make the magical Salsa di Parmigiano. Well now I can and you have made me the most popular hostess around! People go absolutely gaga for this stuff. Thank you for this recipe and the rest of your beautiful blog, which I am so enjoying following!
Emily, so nice to hear from you! I have heard so much about you from Amy, and im sorry I never got to meet you while I was in CA. Very jealous of your experience at Bottega — I love Michael Chiarello’s food, though I’ve only tasted it via his cookbook, Tra Vigne. And I’m just so happy you like this salsa! It is such a good thing to have on hand.
I’ve been dying to make this ever since you posted it, and I finally did! (Right now it is sitting for the requisite few hours before we begin devouring it). I’m wondering how to store the leftovers…do you keep it in the fridge, or can it be left at room temp for a few days? We’re going to serve it again at a dinner party in a few days and I’m not sure what to do. It seems like it wouldn’t be good cold, but I can’t imagine I can leave it out for too long. Maybe refrigerate, and then get it out early so it warms up before serving??
Alyssa — so happy to hear that you’ve made this! And, I am impressed you are waiting the suggested few hours before tucking in. OK, so I stored the remainder of the salsa in a glass ball jar in the fridge, and then on the days when I wanted to use it again, I would take the jar out of the fridge about an hour before serving — just as you are suggesting. I suppose the ideal would be to store it in a few jars that way you aren’t taking out the same jar every time and returning the same jar to the fridge every time, but I have had no issues with it spoiling storing it the way I have described. I hope that helps!
Hello, I am a girl italiana.che say … in Italy the parmesan sauce is one other thing. but your sauce is really good … I provata.molto beautiful your blog.io live near venice but are native to southern Italy. lover of good food and especially the one with lots of vegetables. if you want some Italian recipe ask. still hello and congratulations for your blog … will copy a few recipes in America. sorry for my English but I used the google translator. ely
Maravilloso escuchar esto. No te preocupes por el Inglés – estoy usando el traductor de google también. Así que me alegro usted tiene gusto del salsa. Y usted las gracias a por tu comentario nice!
I know this is an old recipe, but I’ve made it a dozen times for get togethers with friends and it is ALWAYS a hit! Everyone absolutely loves it! I have shared the recipe with many!
Ali…… enlighten me….. what do you put in an advent calendar? I’m guessing chocolate for the kiddos, but is there supposed to be parts of the Christmas story in there too?
PS I will totally, 100% be making this parmesan salsa soon.
You must, it’s so good!
Oh gosh, haven’t done it in years! It was usually chocolate or small things like mini tape measures, flash lights, cards, etc. One day I’ll bring this back!
I don’t know if this is good advice or not, but I made this almost 2 years ago and still have some kicking around in the fridge. It still tastes amazing and rave-worthy. I don’t use much at a time, and usually only break it out when i can share it so it lasted a long time. I’ll make this again for sure when my jar runs out.
So nice to hear this, Jes 🙂 🙂 🙂 I am always using things many months past when I feel like I am told I should, so this is comforting to hear.
Can You freeze this? I want to make it for Christmas gift ahead of time. Thought if I could freeze, I would give it more shelf time before I thawed it when it it is time to give my gift.
Yes, you can definitely freeze it!
This looks like a crazy-ridiculous splurge but like everyone says, it’ll last forever and go with so many things…can’t wait! Don’t you just love those crystally bits of parm?
I do I do! It’s so good 🙂
This sounds amazing! Imagining it with some rosemary in place of the scallions