Almond, Olive and Parsley Tapenade
Kookooyeh Sabzi (Persian Greens Omelet)
A good mid-summer tomato doesn’t need much to become the better part of a meal — salt, pepper, a splash of olive oil and vinegar, and just one other thing, a pinch of chopped Italian flat-leafed parsley. An herb with a taste that is the epitome of freshness, parsley can play more than a supporting role, however. Here are dishes in which flat-leafed parsley is the starring attraction.
The first recipe, chimichurri, is a traditional Argentine spicy condiment that is typically served with grilled and roasted meats. There are many variations. You can experiment by adding grated carrot or red bell pepper, or you can kick your chimichurri up a notch by adding some hot chilis or crushed red pepper flakes. Kookooyeh Sabzi, a dish from another part of the world, Iran, also calls for improvisation to suit one’s own tastes. The mix of greens that you use in the recipe can vary widely according to what you have on hand. The only must-have green in the recipe is flat-leafed parsley.
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/3 cup vinegar
5 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Finely chop the parsley and garlic in a food processor. Add the onion, vinegar, water, salt, oregano, pepper flakes, and black pepper and process until the salt crystals are dissolved.
2. Add the oil in a thin stream. Do not over process. The chimichurri should be fairly coarse.
3. Correct the seasoning, adding additional salt or vinegar to taste. Let stand at room temperature for several hours before serving.
Almond, Olive and Parsley Tapenade [top]
2 cups flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1 jalapeno pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded
1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper
1. Toast the almonds in a 350 degree oven or in a frying pan on the stovetop, stirring frequently until they turn golden brown.
2. Quickly blanch parsley in boiling water and place in blender or food processor with almonds, olives and jalapeno.
3. Pulse while adding oil, increasing amount of oil, if needed to reach desired consistency. Season with pepper and lemon juice.
Kookooyeh Sabzi (Persian Greens Omelet) [top]
3-4 cups finely chopped greens such as:
1-1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley
1 cup lettuce or spinach
1/2 cup green onions (including tops)
1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup dill (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup barberries, chopped dried cranberries or currants (optional)
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Wash greens, drain well, chop finely, and fry in 1/2 tablespoon oil for 5 minutes. Transfer to plate to let cool thoroughly, draining off any water that has cooked out of the greens.
2. In bowl, beat eggs and blend in flour and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in greens when they have cooled, and optional walnuts and berries.
3. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in non-stick skillet. Pour in eggs and greens mixture, cover skillet and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. As egg begins to set on bottom, shake pan to loosen omelet from bottom. When the top has set, invert large plate over skillet and flip omelet onto plate. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to skillet and slide omelet back into pan, cooked side up. Fry for another 5-10 minutes until browned on bottom.
2 cups bulgur
2 cups boiling water
1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch mint
3 cloves garlic
juice of 4 lemons
⅓ cup olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste
1. Place bulgur in large bowl, add boiling water and toss well with a fork. Let rest in refrigerator for ½ hour.
2. Finely chop mint and parsley; peel and finely chop garlic. Cut tomatoes into ¼” cubes. Slice scallions finely.
3. Add all vegetables to bulgur. Combine lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over bulgur-vegetable combination. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Let flavors blend for at least two hours before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.