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Posts tagged 'parsley'

Italian Parsley Salad

Italian Parsley Salad

I found a version of this recipe on the inside of a matchbook, in a shoebox labeled “think outside the box," a collection of ideas and inspiration that had been growing over the years. It hadn't occurred to me to use parsley as a salad green until I came across this recipe, and boy am I glad I did. It makes a great partner for the red onion and capers, with some tomatoes thrown in for freshness. So simple, yet so delicious.

Italian Parsley Salad

Turn this salad into a meal by serving it atop thick slices of grilled whole grain bread.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 small red onion, halved, 1/2 thinly sliced lengthwise (reserve other half)
  • 4 Italian plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise ⅛ inch thick
  • ¼ cup small capers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, toss together parsley, basil, red onion, sliced tomatoes, capers and red pepper flakes. Add olive oil and lemon juice, and toss until evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled bread.

vegetarian  vegan  tomatoes  red onion  parsley


Mediterranean Eggplant Salad


Mediterranean cooking, which focuses on vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and fragrant spices, is a smart way to get healthy. It's also delicious, as evidenced by this rich, sweet-tart salad of spiced eggplant, pine nuts and raisins. 

Mediterranean Eggplant Salad

Toast whole spices in a heavy bottom pan over medium until they are fragrant and deepen in color. Stir frequently and watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove them from pan and cool, then grind in a coffee grinder or spice mill.

Serves 2 to 4

  • 1 medium eggplant (¾ to 1 pound), peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 1 teaspoon each toasted, ground cumin, coriander and fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup red wine, sherry, or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom pan wide enough to hold eggplant in a single layer. Saute eggplant over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it starts to soften and turn golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add toasted, ground spices and toss well with eggplant.

Lower heat and add vinegar, honey, and water. Stir well and let simmer until eggplant is cooked through and liquid almost evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add pine nuts, raisins, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir well and cool.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top.

vegetarian  raisins  pine nuts  parsley  eggplant


Grilled Sweet Peppers


This salad is incredibly versatile. Serve it warm or cold. As a topping for bruschetta or pizza. Tossed with pasta or beans. Mix it with a favorite protein or a handful of greens.

Grilled Sweet Peppers

Preheating the grill is key to the success of this recipe. If the grill is not hot enough there is a good chance of overcooking the food before there is any caramelization (grill marks). You also lose out on that “smokey” grilled flavor. Turn the grill to medium and heat for 15 minutes. Clean the grill surface with either a wire brush or metallic scruppy to remove any residual grit. You may also substitute a 450 degree oven, roasting the peppers for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 each whole red, yellow, and orange sweet bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons whole flat Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Combine the peppers, 2 teaspoons olive oil and kosher salt in a large bowl and toss to coat.

Place the peppers on a preheated grill, and cook until they begin to char 4 to 6 minutes.

Carefully turn the peppers on grill to evenly char on all sides, 15 to 18 minutes.

Place peppers back in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit 10 to 12 minutes. The trapped steam from the roasted peppers helps loosen the skin.

When peppers have cooled, carefully remove charred skin by gently rubbing with fingers.

Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and stem then slice peppers ¼ inch thick. Return to bowl.

Add olive oil, capers, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes and sherry vinegar. Toss well.

vegan  parsley  capers  bell peppers  basil


Grilled Polenta with slow Roasted Tomato, White Beans, and flat Italian Parsley


The first staff meal ever assigned to me was polenta, and I was fearless. "Hey Chef, why don't you take it easy, I've got it covered".

First batch, nope, Second batch, harder than Chinese algebra. Third batch, too salty. Fourth batch, texture like stucco but without the flavor.

No fifth batch. Caesar salad for the staff, big slice of humble pie by for myself.

But it's really not that hard. I've blogged about how I like to do it before, and I'm covering it again here, since it's a skill well worth having. I guarantee you'll get it right the first time.

Grilled Polenta with Slow-roasted Tomatoes, White Beans and Parsley

The roasted tomatoes can be made a week ahead and refrigerated.

Serves 4

  • 6 Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned rinsed cannellini beans (white navy)
  • 4 sprigs Italian parsley
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss with herbs and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet and roast for 3 hours. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Bring 4 cups of water and salt to a boil, lower to a simmer, and add the cornmeal in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Slowly stir with a spatula, then cook over low heat until tender. Transfer to an oiled baking dish and spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Cut polenta into 2-inch squares; cut squares in half, forming triangles. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly oil polenta and place on a hot grill or hot saute pan. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until GBD (golden, brown and delicious)

Shingle polenta on serving platter and scatter tomatoes, beans, parsley, and pepper flakes on top. Drizzle with olive oil.

white beans  tomatoes  polenta  parsley  cornmeal


The Big Salad and Hummus Dressing


I call this "The Big Salad" (TBS), which sounds way more impressive than it really is. Mostly, it's a mix of ingredients you like, cooked if need be, or not. Grilled onions--throw them in. Half a carrot in the fridge? Wash it (no need to peel), shred it and add for color. Cucumber? Leave the skin on and cut on a bias for a cool shape. Add a little protein--chickpeas, kidney beans, or cooked whole grains. Arugula adds a nice hit of pepper, radicchio adds color and bitterness. Tomatoes bring acid and sweetness, while shredded kale adds texture and body. Olives for the brine. Fresh citrus or a splash of vinegar for pop.

Most of the time I never dress my salads. But if you feel compelled to use a dressing, go light on processed oils and and use only a couple of tablespoons dressing per serving. Here's a tasty option.

Hummus Dressing

Makes about 1/2 cup

  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Salt and pepper to taste.


salad dressing  parsley  lemon  hummus


“It seems more common than not that there is a disconnect between the information the medical profession provides, and the realities of shopping, preparing, cooking, and actually enjoying a meal based on a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle. I will show others how to bridge that gap."