Thursday, August 28, 2008

Parsley Pesto

Parsley Pesto

When I was growing up, parsley was a tough, curly thing that sat on your plate. It was to make your plate look pretty, not to eat (though sometimes I would occasionally hear that chewing it would freshen your breath). I had never even heard of Italian flat-leaf parsley. My how times have changed. Now, I buy a bunch of fresh parsley every week. Parsley can be pretty much tossed into anything towards the end of cooking to add a fresh flavor, and it is still useful to make your plate look pretty. A little fresh parsley sprinkled on a dish before serving makes me feel like a chef (though mine somehow never looks as pretty as those on TV, it must be an acquired skill).

I buy organic parsley, which is a tad bit expensive (a least compared to non-organic), so I really hate to let any of it go to waste. So, there I was, with a bag of parsley in my fridge, needing to be used up, and a new cookbook. Yeah. I bought a new cookbook. I couldn't help it. It was at Book Gallery and it was only $8.99 because it had a torn page. And it has stickers on the won James Beard Foundation Kitchenaid Book Award and an IACP award! I am especially smitten with cookbooks with award stickers on the front. Anyway, it's Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, The by Peter Berley. Now, I am not a vegetarian, modern or otherwise, but I cannot pass up a good deal or a good cookbook. I am really happy with this book and have marked several recipes to try. One that caught my eye was the parsley pesto. I followed the recipe and froze portions of it in an ice cube tray. After they were frozen, I stored them in a plastic bag in my freezer. This is so good, and I have such plans for it: spooning over grilled or roasted fish or chicken, stirred into pasta or grains, spread onto pizza dough...really the options are limitless!

Parsley Pesto

1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
4 cups packed, fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt

Using your metal blade of your food processor, gring the walnuts to a fine meal.

Add the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Slowly pour int oil and process until the mixture is smooth. Mix in about 1 teaspoon of salt and taste, adjust if necessary.

You can freeze it like I did, or store it in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks after covering it with olive oil and sealing it tightly.


This will be my entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by one of my favorite food bloggers, Katie at Thyme for Cooking.


Marjie said...

I found a milkman who delivers, and he's also a farmer. So I bought fresh basil because you love it so. I used it last night on my chicken. But it's looking a little wilty sitting in a vase of water - do you think that's because it's already begun to flower?

I love using Parsley, too!

Pam said...

Marjie - mine looked wilted for a couple of days, but then it perked up and started looking better every day.

noble pig said...

Hey what a great way to use up the stuff Pam!

katiez said...

Like you I went from garnish to loving it! I have realy developed a taste for it in recent years... Great pesto.
Next year, when I can use my freezer again!

Grace said...

superb way to have fresh pesto year-round! and boy, is it some beautiful pesto. forget basil, give me parsley!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, Pam! I have got to try this - being crazy for pesto, I know I'll become addicted!

Pam said...

I just made basil/pine nut pesto last week and loved it. I am excited to try this version - it sounds great.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

My garden has given me the most amazing flat-leaf parsley this year. I started it from seedlings bought at an organic farm near here, so the plants were completely acclimated. The flavor is so intense -- and I've been making pesto with it, too!

Natashya said...

I love parsley. When I use the leaves in a dish, I eat up all the stems.
Happy new book! You can never have too many. :)

Treasures By Brenda said...

I grew my own parsley for a couple of years but the neighborhood rabbit kept eating it...

If you are interested in cookbooks, you might enjoy reading Recipe For Finding Good Cookbooks. It gives some idea of what to look out for in a cookbook as well as great sources for finding new cookbooks. Who knows, maybe there is a cookbook dedicated to parsley!


preppy little dress said...

i love using parsley, thanks for sharing.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I just threw out another bunch of basil (forgot about the vase technique in the middle of packing up for a move) and it broke my heart. I hate throwing out parsley too so I love the idea of a parsley pesto.

Now if only I can work these ice-cube trays. . .

Mike of Mike's Table said...

lol, you reminded me of my childhood...not only was parsely only for decoration, but I was convinced that you simply couldn't eat it. It just wasn't a food and it would be like eating grass. Haha, my how I've changed. ;-)

The pesto sounds like a tasty thing to have handy and I never would have thought about packing it in the ice cube trays. That seems like a great tip!

gotnomilk said...

That looks really good. How does it taste? I am especially interested, as there is no dairy in it!

Kalyn said...

Sounds really good. I have a lot of parsley right now so I think it means I should be making this!

(And never too many cookbooks, don't worry about that!)

Lisa said...

I love this idea. I used to freeze homemade pesto in mini muffin tins when I had an abundance of parsley and basil growing in my garden in Dallas. It was so easy to mix a batch in the summer then pull it out of the freezer and use as needed year round. Great post!

Kevin said...

Freezing pesto to enjoy in the winter is a good idea!

Jeff said...

Parsley grows like a weed in my garden so I always have this overabundance. I owe you one because I am making some and freezing away.

P.S. I also believed parsley was the nasty only garnish that had zero purpose but to take up space on the plate.

Jude said...

Fun way to preserve herbs. I use my ice tray for pesto more than actual ice!

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