I think parsley is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of herbs: it doesn’t get nearly the respect it deserves! Too often it is regarded as nothing more than a pretty garnish, but it’s oh so much more than that. It’s great in soups – a must in chicken soup as far as I am concerned. And what would Tabbouleh be without parsley? Dried parsley has little flavor, so it’s one herb where fresh is best. And it’s nutritious as well, loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Here are Happy Acres we always have parsley growing. It’s easy to grow, but it’s a biennial so it must be planted every year because no matter what you do, the second year it is going to flower and then that’s the end of it.
That’s exactly what happened to three plants I had growing all winter in the greenhouse. They kept us supplied with plenty of parsley since last fall, but they were starting to flower so I pulled them up to make room for cucumbers. I had a whole ziploc bag of parsley leaves. What’s to do with all that parsley? When life gives you parsley, I say it’s time to make pesto!
I first saw this recipe on an episode of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita on Cooking Channel. I love this show because much of his cooking seems to involve simple preparation of fresh local fruits and vegetables. That happens to be one of my favorite things as well.
This pesto comes from the sunny Amalfi coast of Italy – via an Italian/Canadian, to Happy Acres. It’s great tossed with pasta dishes, slathered on pizza crust or spread on a slab of crispy crostini bread. Or add a spoonful to a bowl of vegetable or chicken soups.
1 cup parsley leaves (tightly packed)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup walnuts
1 dash salt, quanto basta (as required/just enough)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Place all ingredients except cheese in food processor. Process to desired consistency.
2. Stir in cheese. If freezing, omit cheese and add after thawing.
3. To help preserve the pesto, cover the top of the pesto with a layer of olive oil.
Servings: 16 (1 tbsp)
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition (per serving): 87 calories, 78 calories from fat, 8.9g total fat, 2.8mg cholesterol, 59.8mg sodium, 33.6mg potassium, <1g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, <1g sugar, 1.6g protein, 42mg calcium, 1.6g saturated fat.