What the World Needs Now Is Parsley Sauce

May 23, 2012 § 4 Comments

I’ve been wanting to write this post all winter, but I needed to wait until parsley season. I didn’t know parsley had a season until I started making Parsley Sauce.  When you eat tablespoons of Parsley Sauce straight off the spoon you notice that sometime around October the quality of parsley takes a dip.  And one necessity for this recipe is a decent bunch of parsley. But very soon farmers market tables will be covered with big fat freshly cut bunches of the stuff , and parsley will be selling cheap.  The time has come.  I am here to tell you about Parsley Sauce, The Wonder Condiment. I became enamored of Parsley Sauce when I realized my six year-old would eat anything coated with it.


ME: Sweetie, I see that you’ve stripped the chicken of all of it’s delicious crispy skin.  Now will you please eat the bland, bare meat?


ME: Why don’t you dip the unappealing meat into an emerald green pool of nutrient-rich Parsley Sauce?

HER: …scarf scarf scarf scarf….

Drizzle it on roasted meat or vegetables.  Stir it into risotto. Add a dollop to soup.  Dip bread in it. Drink it from a mug.  There’s nothing fancy about Parsley Sauce – it’s mostly parsley & olive oil.  But there are two ingredients that make people cock their heads after a taste and wonder ‘What is that..?” It’s tarragon & fennel seeds.  They don’t make a fuss, but they somehow boost the parlseyishness of Parsley Sauce.  Another selling point: Parsley Sauce will keep in the fridge for three weeks or more.  And you can freeze it.  The Wonder Condiment in name and deed.


adapted from a recipe by Deborah Madison, Makes 1 Cup

Note: Parsley Sauce freezes beautifully, so consider making a double batch

8 peppercorns

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp dried tarragon

pinch of salt

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 tsp shallot, minced

1 C Italian Flat Parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 tsp of red wine vinegar

3/4 C extra-virgin olive oil

1. In a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle grind the peppercorns, fennel seeds, tarragon & salt into powder.

2. In  the bowl of a food processor or a mortar, combine the spice powder, garlic, shallot, parsley leaves, & one-half tablespoon of the olive oil.  Process to a pesto-like consistency.

3.  Scoop the parsley mixture into a medium bowl.  Add the vinegar and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, gently stirring all the while.

4. Let the Parsley Sauce sit for at least 30 minutes before using it.  The flavors intensify with time, and eventually the oil will be a lovely bright green.  The The Parsley Sauce will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks, or it can be frozen.

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