Also known as salsa all’ agresto, this Italian sauce dates back to the Middle Ages. It has some similarities to pesto, in that it is a paste made from herbs, nuts and oil, but that is where the comarisons end. Agresto sauce includes verjuice (agresto itself refers to unripe grape juice) as a main ingredient and when combined with a variety of nuts it provides an intriguing flavour that is a glimpse of what people ate hundreds of years ago.

Traditionally it was served with boiled meats, but don’t limit yourself. Try it with anything you would use pesto for, such as a topping for bruschetta or tossed through freshly cooked pasta.


Makes: at least 2 cups

  • 1 Cup Seedless Green Grapes

  • Juice of a Large Fresh Lemon

  • 1 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar

  • 3/4 Cup Toasted Walnuts (toast them lightly under broiler or fry pan)

  • 1/2 cup Toasted Almonds

  • 1 Fresh Garlic Clove

  • 1 Cup Fresh Parsley

  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves

  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme or Lemon Thyme Leaves

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1/4 Cup Water


  1. In a blender or food processor – Process the grapes, lemon juice, and vinegar and set aside.

  2. Next place the nuts, garlic, parsley, basil, thyme, salt and pepper in the processor and process until finely chopped and combined.

  3. Then process again while adding the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a stream.

  4. Next add the juice previously made from the grapes and the water in a stream while processing or blending again.

  5. You can add a little more water if too thick  – taste and correct the seasoning if needed.

  6. Cover tightly and refrigerate. This can be made a day or two ahead and will keep well for a few days in the refrigerator if tightly covered before it begins to darken and oxidize. Heat before using. If the sauce becomes to thick for you when ready to use it – just add a little more water, taste, and stir. The tasting is fun and one of the perks of making this great sauce!

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