Cathie Campbell

A passel of parsley

Use some spinach and parsley pesto sauce over bowtie pasta for a delicious summer meal. Garnish as you wish.
Use some spinach and parsley pesto sauce over bowtie pasta for a delicious summer meal. Garnish as you wish. CCo Images

For months, some creature was nipping off fresh herbs from my container garden out on the deck, which I refer to as my kitchen garden. It didn’t like sage, chives, rosemary or thyme, but it dearly loved the oregano (didn’t plant basil this year). What puzzles me is why it always nipped off branches of parsley, but didn’t seem to eat them. Every morning I saw evidence of the nighttime raid, especially in the parsley pots, as the greens were just lying wilted and flat against the potting soil. I was getting tired of having to go buy bunches of parsley at the store. I finally installed a game camera and the culprit was a large pack rat. It actually was funny to see it flee back to its nest with a large branch of oregano in its mouth. After that rascal was caught and released elsewhere, two mice came along and took his place. They went bye-bye, too. Now I have a fresh crop of parsley that I started from seed and I hope to be able to harvest some in the near future. In honor of this new crop, I wanted to share some parsley recipes with you. If you grow any, I hope the rodents don’t wipe it out.

Artichoke niblets

I have had (and made) this recipe for decades. You can adjust the seasonings as you wish. I usually use more than 1 clove of garlic.

2 jars (6-oz. ea.) marinated artichoke hearts

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

4 eggs

 1/4 cup bread crumbs

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 1/8 teaspoon each: oregano, pepper and hot pepper sauce

2 tablespoons minced parsley

 1/2 pound shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 325. Drain marinade from 1 jar of chokes into frying pan. Drain the other jar. Chop all chokes, set aside; add onion and garlic to pan and saute until limp.

2. In a bowl, beat eggs with a fork; add crumbs, salt and pepper, oregano and hot sauce. Stir in cheese, parsley, chokes and onion mixture.

3. Turn into 8- (or 9-) by-13-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven about 30 minutes, or until set. Let cool. Cut into 1-inch squares. Serve cold or reheat in pan at 325 for 10 to 12 minutes. (OK to use Egg-Beaters instead of whole eggs.)

Parsley and garbanzo salad

A good way to use up lots of parsley.

4 cups chopped fresh parsley

2 cans (15-oz. each) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I would use a red one)

 1/2 cup sliced green onion

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

 1/4 cup lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Combine parsley, garbanzo beans, green pepper, green onions and tomatoes in a bowl.

2. Combine lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl, then whisk in olive oil.

3. Toss dressing with salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 12 servings.

Parsley potatoes

1  1/2 to 2 pounds small red potatoes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter, cut into slices

 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. In a medium saucepan, add potatoes and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Reduce to a rolling simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender and the skin is beginning to fall away from the potatoes, about 20 minutes.

2. Drain water from pan. Quickly add the potatoes back to the saucepan with the butter and parsley, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give the potatoes a stir with a wooden spoon or shake with the lid on so the potatoes break up a bit. Let sit on the still warm (but off) burner for 5 to 10 minutes and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Spinach and parsley pesto

Good with bowtie pasta. Asiago isn’t my go-to cheese, so I use Parmesan-Reggiano.

 1/4 cup pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

5 cups fresh spinach

2 cups fresh parsley

 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated

Zest from 1 lemon

Juice from  1/2 lemon

 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

 1/3 cup olive oil, (plus 1 tablespoon, optional)

1. In a food processor or blender, chop up the pine nuts and garlic, pulsing several times.

2. Add the spinach, parsley, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.

3. Slowly drizzle in  1/3 cup olive oil while blending. You may want to add more depending on how thick you want the sauce. That’s where the extra 1 tablespoon comes in. Makes about 1 cup pesto sauce.