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Sicilian Lemon Olive Oil Sauce

Salmoriglio is a Sicilian sauce that a lot of people have never heard of. The name is derived from salamoia, which means salty (brine). Made with lemon juice, water and olive oil, this quick sauce is perfect to baste grilled fish with or to use at the table as a condiment for grilled meats. Old recipes say that the ingredients should be whisked together in a double boiler to insure a creamy emulsion but I find that a good whisk and some fast arm action are just as good.

Makes about 3/4 cup


Juice of 2 large lemons

1/2 cup Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup hot water

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Fine sea salt to taste

Grinding black pepper


Combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a medium size bowl and whisk until the ingredients are well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated and use to baste grilled fish, meat or even poultry. Or pass it at the table as a condiment.

This recipe is featured on show 2204 – Delicious Sauces – Le Salse Deliziose.

This recipe is from Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito.


  1. Marion's avatar


    Hot water is mentioned in the written recipe but not used in the video. Is it a part of the recipe?
  2. Beth Bilous's avatar

    Beth Bilous

    I made this sauce last night to serve over grilled wild wahoo fish. It was phenomenal. I will serve the rest over chicken. I left the water out, and this was very simple to make. It's so fresh tasting.
  3. miri's avatar


    Sounds delicious and I will try it but in Rome I had a condiment that tasted like salt, lemon zest and olive oil that was served on concia di zucca and knocked my socks off. It was not smooth but granular and no parsley or garlic like gremolata...could it just be a regional variation?
  4. Ross's avatar


    Never add water.
    Olive oil, lemon juice and parsley for fish.
    For chicken and beef add dried oregano.
    Salt and pepper add directly to the meat.
  5. Patricia A Sicular's avatar

    Patricia A Sicular

    Mary Ann is an American and now World Wide Treasure ... I share her recipes with friends across the country and around the world .
    Happy 4th Mary Ann - With very best regards , Patty in NYC
  6. Anna A Flores's avatar

    Anna A Flores

    Does Mary Ann ever answers questions, asked in emails, about a specific recipe or place in Italy she has visited?

    Like the newsletter & recipes Mary Ann shares.

    Grazie e ciao. Anna
  7. Carol's avatar


    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Growing up we called this Salmore - I remember grandma and my aunts using pestle for garlic, adding lemons and olive oil and chopped parsley. It was used to marinade chicken baking in oven. The rest was put in pot, adding water and cooked - bunch of parsley was used as "mopina" and served at table. Always had this after pasta on Holidays - fed our big extended family.

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