There is an incredibly warm and cozy spot in my heart where the parsley goes. Parsley doesn’t usually get people riled up the same way that basil or thyme or oregano do but, if you ask me, it’s its own kind of wonderful. What’s different about these recipes is that here the parsley serves as the green, the herb, the everything. It’s not a decoration or a garnish, it’s just the parsley, and it’s definitely meant to be eaten this way. No competition, no second fiddle.
The first time I ever ate parsley the way nature intended, it came from the kitchen garden of our old friends, Jerry and Sue. Jerry considered parsley one of the four basic food groups, and therefore grew an enormous quantity every year. With the help of some fresh pressed garlic and olive oil, Sue mixed the curly and flat-leaf parsley varieties into a salad all their own. I could easily eat a whole bowlful. That parsley salad was one of the things I most looked forward to whenever an invitation arrived to join them for dinner. So simple, so different, and so wonderful. To this day, I think of them whenever I eat parsley.
Then there’s the parsley salad that our friend Oded prepared regularly and effortlessly. Flat leaf only, by the way. After many years of searching, I have finally located a recipe that provides me with more specifics than I could ever get out of Oded. This parsley salad, too, is different and spectacular.
2 large bunches of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, stems removed and chopped coarsely
3/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt, more to taste
Several tablespoons cold water, as needed
Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and salt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to make dressing just shy of runny, but still on the thicker side. Add the chopped parsley, toss well to coat the leaves. Serve right away. Enjoy!