5 Ingredients: Five Summer Sauces

Liven up your summer menus, without gobs of extra calories and fat. Here are five totally different sauces bursting with seasonal flavors -- each with 5 ingredients or less.

1.) Arugula Pesto

This fresh take on pesto is delicious atop pasta, chicken or fish.

Arugula Pesto

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:
3 cups fresh arugula
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Juice and zest of a lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine arugula, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until smooth. With the machine on, slowly pour in olive oil. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.

For another take on pesto, make my version with in-season garlic scapes.

Nutrition Info (per tablespoon):
Calories: 76
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram
Protein: 0 gram
Sodium: 36 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams
2.) Chimichurri

This Argentinean condiment gives a punch of herbaceous flavor to steak or grilled vegetables.

Chimichurri Sauce

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh green herbs (a combination of parsley, oregano and cilantro recommended)

6 cloves garlic
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Allow to sit for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Info (per tablespoon):
Calories: 48
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram
Protein: 0 gram
Sodium:  13 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams
3.) Tzatziki Sauce

Serve this Greek yogurt sauce with lamb kebabs, grilled salmon or shrimp, or smeared on slices of crusty bread. Chop or grate the cucumber depending on how much texture you like.

Tzatziki Sauce

Yield: 2 1/4 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 large English cucumber, chopped or grated*
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. For best results, allow to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*If you choose to use grated cucumber, allow to drain on a paper towel before adding to the yogurt to remove excess liquid.

Nutrition Info (per tablespoon):
Calories: 14
Total Fat:  0 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 23 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams
4.) Gremolata

A garnish more than a sauce, this traditional topping for Osso Bucco also gives a lemony flare to roasted potatoes.

Gremolata

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:
1 cup packed fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Zest of 2 lemons

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a small bowl, toss and serve.

Nutrition Info (per teaspoon):
Calories: 1
Total Fat:  0 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 0 gram
Protein: 0 gram
Sodium:  1 milligram
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber:  0 grams

5.) Romecso (pictured at top)

This classic Spanish sauce is comprised of tomatoes and/or peppers and almonds. For this recipe, we chose sweet and tangy peppadew peppers (available in the pickle section of most grocery stores). Spoon over grilled fish or poultry or spread on sandwiches. For an even thicker sauce, add torn pieces of toasted day-old bread before blending.

Romesco Sauce

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup peppadew peppers (skins removed)
1/2 cup Marcona almonds*
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet. Add garlic and sauté gently for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Combine garlic oil, remaining oil, peppers, almonds, vinegar salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

*If you can’t find Marcona almonds, substitute dry roasted or raw almonds.

Nutrition Info (per tablespoon):
Calories: 91
Total Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 2 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 75 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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