Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.
Here's one that's full of our favorite recipes because we wrote the book! It is also full of information, helpful hints and ideas for using herbs and spices in your kitchen.
All About Parsely
by Sandra Bowens
It’s just for looks, right?
Wrong! Parsley has many more uses than to serve simply as a garnish. This attractive herb is the most widely used in the United States. Parsley came over with the colonists and has been easily cultivated ever since. In the home garden, it becomes a lovely border or adds splashes of bright green throughout. The seeds germinate slowly and parsley must be replanted each year. Should you plant too much, freeze, rather than air dry, for the best preservation of essential oils.
Parsley has a checkered past. Ancient Greeks did not eat it but would use it to crown victors and scatter over tombs of the dead. To the Romans it was a common food. Both Greek and Romans believed parsley would absorb wine fumes, preventing intoxication, so they placed bunches on their banquet tables or wore garlands around their necks. In medieval times, parsley was believed to bring bad luck.
While there are more than 40 varieties, two are most widely used in cooking: Curled Leaf, the usual garnish, and Plain-leaf or Italian, favored by cooks for its more intense, freshening flavor. To glean more intensity from dried herbs, sprinkle them over fresh parsley before chopping. Parsley is an excellent source of Vitamins C and A along with other minerals. To reap these benefits, use it fresh more often by tossing a handful into green salads or mince and sprinkle over cooked foods. It can be added to virtually any dish, aside from sweets, but add near the end of cooking to maintain the bright flavor.
1 cup bulgur
2 cups boiling water
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
5 green onions, sliced with some green tops
1/4 cup minced parsley, preferably Italian
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
4 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
Soak bulgur in water for one hour. Pour into a colander to drain off excess water, pressing down on bulgur to drain well. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in cucumber, tomato, green onions and parsley.
In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, lemon juice, oil, pepper, oregano and salt. Pour over bulgur and vegetables and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings, but remember that Feta cheese is rather salty.
To serve, heap onto a serving platter and sprinkle with Feta cheese. Best served at room temperature.
Makes 4 main dish or 6 side dish servings
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