Eight Parsley Sauces for Summer

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First, let’s talk sauce

Homemade sauces will take your meals to the next level. They require little time and elevate food.

A sauce coats and seasons the dish; think of salad dressings, salsas, catsup and red sauce . Sauces cling to whatever’s under it. Take a raw vegetable like a carrot stick, or a roasted vegetable like cauliflower, and it’s utterly transformed by adding a sauce.

Originally, to sauce meant to salt your food. Sauce and salt come from the same Latin root salsus, which is appropriate because without salt, sauces fail.

There are secrets to taking your sauces from ho hum to fabulous.

1 Use peak ingredients at the height of their flavors.

2 Include sour, salty, sweet and a pinch of heat to every sauce.

3 Don’t be shy! Spice it up with onions, ginger, garlic, spices, herbs and chili's

4 Flavors come in families. So, learn to flavor match, but don’t be surprised if you find out that Middle Eastern, Greek, and Scandinavian cuisines all use parsley, but in different ways. 

I highly recommended reading this book: “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg 

https://www.karenandandrew.com/books/the-flavor-bible/ The Port Townsend library owns it.

Second, let’s talk parsley

Parsley’s a green wonder, super food and creates a mellow background for sauces. It especially loves lemon, garlic and salt, but pairs well with coriander, cilantro, mint and dill.

Adding an acid ingredient, like lemon, is important to highlight parsley’s flavor, but it’ll turn your bright green sauce to a grey green. Not a problem, unless you want to show off that startling green, so add the lemon, after showing off the color. 

Rock Celery

Parsley comes from two Greek words "petrose," meaning rock, since it so often pops through rocky terrain and stone walls; and "selenium," an ancient name for celery. So parsley means “rock celery.”

Umbrella Family

Parsley is an umbellifer. The same family as: carrots, parsnips, anise, celery, chervil, coriander, caraway, cumin, dill, and fennel.

Parsley, move over kale?

A ½ cup of chopped parsley provides:

574% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K. Vitamin K promotes bone strength, and plays a role in the possible prevention of Alzheimer's disease by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

62% daily value of vitamin C, that’s 3 times more than oranges!

47% daily value of vitamin A. Upping your carotenes like lutein and zeaxanthin, and helping to prevent eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.

The iron in parsley is twice as much as in spinach. Iron is essential for the production of the important oxygen-carrying component in the red blood cells called heme.

Parsley also provides daily doses of copper, manganese and magnesium.

Parsley contains one of the highest antioxidant counts among plants, with an oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of 74,349 per 100 grams of fresh, raw parsley.

And that’s not all, parsley was used as a medicinal herb long before it was eaten as a vegetable, and has a long list of medicinal qualities.

A couple of parsley links I enjoyed while writing this post.  

https://draxe.com/parsley-benefits/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=25&v=MKtsBUaDYjo


Eight Parsley Sauces

Take it up a notch with these 8 parsley sauces. They’re wonderful as salad dressings, dips for crudites, or stirred into grains, pasta, or beans. Try them with grilled meats or roasted veggies. They’re bright green when first made, but mellow to a darker green when stored. Either way, they’re delicious.


Scandinavian Parsley Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Quick

Ingredients

1 cup parsley, chopped 

2 tablespoons chopped chives

3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce

1 teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon caraway seed

1 teaspoon smoked Maldon flaked salt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

⅓ cup avocado oil

Instructions

Using a food processor or blender: add all the ingredients together and blend until creamy. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks.


Lemon Tahini Parsley Sauce

Makes 1½ cups

Quick

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

Juice of one medium lemon

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup toasted sesame tahini

Instructions

Using a food processor or blender: add the garlic and pulse until fine. Add the parsley, salt, lemon and tahini and pulse together. Slowly, add the oil while the machine is running until the sauce is creamy. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks


Coriander Parsley Sauce

Makes 1½ cups

Quick

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup parsley (packed)

1 cup cilantro, chopped 

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seed (use a spice or coffee grinder)

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Using a food processor or blender: add the garlic and pulse until fine. Add the other ingredients and blend until creamy. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks.


Asian Style Parsley Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Quick

Ingredients

1 cup parsley, chopped

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon unpasteurized mild miso paste

3 tablespoons unseasoned brown rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

¾ teaspoon ground Korean red chili powder, or ¼ teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons ginger paste

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons Red Boat fish sauce

3-4 tablespoons water

Instructions

Using a food processor or blender: add the garlic and pulse until fine. Add all the other ingredients and blend until creamy. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks. 


Chimichurri

1½ cups

Quick

Ingredients

⅓ cup finely minced white onion

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil

⅓ cup raw apple cider vinegar

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients by hand. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 week

 


 

Chermoula

Makes 1½ cups

Quick

Ingredients

1 cup (packed) parsley chopped (leaves and tender stems)

1 cup (packed) cilantro chopped (leaves and tender stems)

½ cup mint leaves, chopped 

1 teaspoon toasted, and freshly ground coriander seeds

1 teaspoon toasted, and freshly ground cumin seeds

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice and zest of one medium lemon

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ cup extra virgin olive oil (or more if needed)

Instructions

Toast the spices and grind. Using a food processor or blender: add the garlic and pulse until fine. Add the other ingredients and pulse until smooth but with some texture. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks.


Creamy Italian Salsa Verde

Makes 1 cup

Quick

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon capers

3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced

1 cup (packed) chopped Italian parsley

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Using a food processor or blender: add the garlic and pulse until fine. Add the capers and anchovies and pulse. Add the other ingredients, except the oil and pulse. Slowly add the oil with the machine running, and blend until creamy. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks. 

 

Thyme and Walnut Parsley Sauce

Makes 1½ cups

Quick

Ingredients

1 cup packed parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced

¼ cup chopped chives or scallions

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons toasted walnut oil

½ cup toasted walnuts

⅓ cup walnut oil 

Instructions

Using a food processor or blender: Add all the other ingredients, except the walnut oil and pulse together. In a slow thin stream add the walnut oil while the machine is running, and blend until creamy. The sauce will keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks.