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Chicken-Penne Salad with Green Beans Fresh and cool for summer, this makes a perfect packed lunch or light dinner with lots of vegetables, a light fresh herb dressing, and shredded chicken. 2 cups uncooked penne (tube-shaped) pasta
2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil or oregano
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell pepper, drained and cut into thin strips
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook pasta in boiling water 7 minutes. Add green beans; cook 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
Combine pasta mixture, chicken, onion, basil, parsley, and bell pepper in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine.
Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat.

Original recipe
Meatloaf with Herbs My family always just made meatballs instead of meatloaf, so this was something new to me. This recipe is subtly different in a more veggie-centric way, and leans more toward Italian seasonings. The original recipe calls for ground pork sausage, but I find that turkey heavily seasoned with fresh herbs does the job just as well. Making a sort of panade with bread soaked in milk is a tenderizing trick I picked up from Cook's Illustrated, and it works wonderfully here. The topping is from the Cummings family, and while I was initially skeptical about the sour cream with ketchup, it really adds depth without taking over. 1 cup of finely chopped onion
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 carrot, chopped fine
1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 teaspoon salt, less if using sausage
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
1/2 pound of ground turkey or sausage
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (2-3 pieces of bread)
~1/2 c. milk
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs - basil, oregano, thyme, sage, parsley

Topping:
1/3 c. ketchup
~1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
~1 Tbs. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs and set aside.

In a large heavy skillet cook the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and scallions in butter, over medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Cover the skillet and stir occassionally until the carrots are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/3 a cup of ketchup. Cook for 1 more minute.

In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, vegetables, and herbs. Squeeze out excess liquid from the soaked bread and add it to the mix. Form into a loaf and put into a rectangular baking pan with 2-inch high sides. Combine topping ingredients and pour over the loaf.

Bake the meatloaf in the oven for 1 hour.

Serves 4 to 6, with plenty for leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.

Original recipe

olivepasta_sm.jpgPenne pasta with rich Italian flavors of kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. Fresh herbs and lemon juice brighten the flavors, and crispy garlic breadcrumbs add crunch and flavor. Easy roasted chickpeas add protein for a full one dish meal.

2 T olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (~2T)
1 T minced anchovy fillets (4-6 fillets)
1 T tomato paste
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinse, patted dry, and cut into thin strips
1 c. pitted kalamata olives, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 lg. slices sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. pasta (we used penne)
1/2-1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Optional: Oven Roasted Chickpeas
1 15 ounce can organic chickpeas

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon chunky sea salt

Heat the oven 400°F. Pour the chickpeas into a colander and drain and rinse very well under running water. Pat dry.

Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and spread out on a large cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crispy. Turn and stir every ten minutes so they don't burn. Take out and toss to taste with salt and spices.


Combine 1 T olive oil, 1 T garlic, anchovies, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives in medium bowl. Set aside.

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about 16 1-second pulses. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook and stir until garlic is fragrant and bread crumbs are dark golden brown, 1-2 minutes longer. Transfer to plate to cool. Wipe out skillet with paper towels.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to boil over high heat. Add rigatoni and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt. While pasta is cooking, return now-empty skillet to medium heat and add olive mixture. Cook until olive mixture is aromatic and oil has turned rusty red, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove 3/4 c. pasta cooking water from pot and add to skillet. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat while pasta finishes cooking. When pasta is just shy of al dente, drain pasta, reserving 1/2 c. cooking water. Transfer back to pot, add olive mixture and toss over medium heat until pasta absorbs most of liquid, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 c. Parmesan. Remove pot from heat and stir in parsley and basil, adjust seasoning with pepper. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, serve with lemon wedges and extra cheese.

From Cooks Illustrated, July & August 2008 

falafel_sm.jpg

These homemade falafel made with canned chickpeas, onion, and fresh herbs are easy, delicious, and healthy. The mix can be made ahead of time, and the patties cook up quickly in a frying pan with a little oil or baked in the oven. Adjust the red pepper to taste: even 1/4 tsp was fairly spicy to me.

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Serve with: pita bread, cucumber, hummus, lemon-yogurt sauce, lettuce and tomato

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten.

To bake: Place onto an oiled baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned (since it's baked, only the part actually touching the pan will be browned and crispy).

To saute: Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Add falafel, cook until brown and crisp on both sides.

Makes about 18 patties.

Original recipe


Adding the mixture of white bread and milk to these meatballs makes them tender and moist. Lots of fresh parsley, garlic, and some mild Italian sausage add plenty of flavor. Can be baked or sauteed. Serve with pasta or as sandwiches with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.

1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound ground sirloin
1/4 pound mild Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large egg white
Spaghetti sauce
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup cheese, and remaining ingredients (cheese through egg white). Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) meatballs, and place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until done. Add meatballs to sauce; cook over low heat 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Original recipe