YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Two Parsley Salads For You

There is a warm and cozy spot in my heart where the parsley goes. Parsley doesn’t usually get people riled up in the same way as basil, thyme, and oregano, but that’s about to change! What’s great about these recipes is that parsley is not the garnish but the main event. It’s the green, the herb, the everything. No competition, no second fiddle. It’s not a decoration, it’s just the parsley, and it’s definitely meant to be eaten this way.

The first time I ever ate parsley this way, as nature intended, it came from the kitchen garden of our old friends Jerry and Sue from Athens, Ohio. I’m pretty sure Jerry considered parsley one of the four basic food groups, which is why he grew an enormous quantity year after year. With the help of some fresh pressed garlic and extra-virgin olive oil, Sue mixed a combination of curly and flat-leaf parsley varieties into a salad all their own. I could easily eat a large bowlful all by myself. 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 adventurous friend Oded prepared regularly and effortlessly for his beloved wife and four children. Flat leaf only, by the way. After many years of searching, I 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 medium-large mixing bowl until smooth. It will go through a thick, gritty, stubborn phase. Just keep whisking. Add a tablespoon of water, and more if necessary (very slowly, just one tablespoon at a time), as needed to make the dressing consistency thick and substantial, but just shy of runny. Add the chopped parsley, toss well to coat the leaves, and serve immediately. Serves 6-8.




YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Red Cabbage with a Buzz

When I saw this recipe I knew it was for me. Generally speaking, cabbage is one of those foods that is very underrated — especially the red kind. This recipe is a red-green party, lunch for a week with spicy, crunchy, sour power! Make some for you, or your gang, or the office potluck! Continue reading



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Fennel Vegetable Soup

The folks where I work are always coming up with the most sublimely delicious recipes. This is one. If you’ve never eaten fennel, you are in for a delicious treat. Raw, it’s crunchy and sweet, a bit like celery with a faint whiff of licorice. Cooked it’s a different vegetable altogether. A great addition to any vegetable soup recipe, it is a total team player, happily absorbing other flavors from the pot at the same time as it shares its own. Fennel comes in bulbs, and the easiest way to cut it up, no matter how you intend to use it, is to slice it in half from top to bottom, and then to slice the half-bulb into thin blades, all of equal length and width, as you work around the bulb. Continue reading



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: The Barefoot Gypsy’s Tabouli

Here is an absolutely fantastic recipe for tabouli from my lucky friend Judith, who got it from her mom, who got it from her mom, who got it from her mom, and so on, which is why my friend Judith is so lucky. Pick up what you need next time you go shopping, so you can make it in time for next weekend’s celebrations!  Continue reading


2016 Memorial Day Menu

Company’s coming! and I thought it might be nice to share the menu. 🙂

My friends and family inspire me so much every day, and I am grateful beyond words. Chief-cook-and-bottle-washer is making a trip to the grocery store today to gather the necessary provisions. Judith, a fine cook if ever there was one, is bringing her extremely fine baked beans. Lori has a tomato-watermelon salad (feta optional). And there is more, much more. We will raise a toast to the magnificent new garden envisioned and then built by the team of T&J. The new bride and groom will be here. And my parents will celebrate their 60th, yes, sixtieth(!), wedding anniversary. They were actually married (in the middle of the week) on May 30th, 1956, in the years before Memorial Day was moved to Mondays! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Red Cabbage Salad With A Buzz

It’s a red-green party, lunch for a week with spicy, crunchy, sour power! Make some for you, or your gang, or your office potluck! When I saw this recipe I knew it was for me. Generally speaking, cabbage is one of those foods that is very underrated — especially the red kind. Continue reading