At the end of fall I couldn’t bear to part with my garden, so I transplanted some of my herbs into pots that now have a happy and warm home in front of my window. The Italian flat leaf parsley was starting to get a little crazy because I really just don’t cook with it all that often. I challenged myself to look for recipes where parsley was more than just a garnish and I am quite happy I did!
I cut nearly all of the parsley and turned it into a pesto with some lemon zest, garlic, and Parmesan cheese and then tossed it with a shrimp pasta I was making. It completely made the dish, but then I decided to just try it on it’s own with some baguette slices and that didn’t disappoint either! The flavor is bright, tangy, and fresh and was a nice change from the usual basil pesto.
(makes roughly 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves
Juice from a lemon
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Add garlic cloves to a food processor and process until completely minced. Add walnuts and process until they’re fine crumbs and then use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides. Next add parsley leaves, lemon juice, and lemon zest and puree. With the food processor still running, pour the olive in through the feed tube. Once the olive oil is incorporated in, stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer pesto to a small glass canning jar and top with about a tablespoon more of olive oil. This will create a seal on top of the pesto and prevent it from oxidizing and turning brown. Seal the jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pesto should keep up to a week to a week and a half.
Use it in soups, sauces, pasta, on bagels, baguettes, or as a dipping sauce.