Thursday, August 28, 2008
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 front...it 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!
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.