This classic French sauce may be served alongside fish or shellfish — steamed, pan-seared or broiled — or as a topping for pasta. It is a light, fresh alternative to other sauces often associated with fish in French cuisine, like aïoli or beurre blanc.
The basic ingredients are tomatoes, shallots, basil, olive oil, lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. You can personalize the basic recipe below by adding different herbs — for example, cilantro, dill or mint — or freshly ground coriander seeds.
2 tbsp. finely minced herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, mint or a combination)
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground coriander seeds (optional)
Scald the tomatoes for one minute in a pot of boiling water. Drain.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, slip off their peels. Cut in quarters. Remove the hard bits around the stem. Discard the seeds. Cut the remaining flesh of the tomatoes into very small dice. Place in a bowl.
Peel and finely mince the shallot. Add to the bowl.
Add the fresh herbs to the bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serves 2.