The popularity of the Mediterranean Diet might be that the arteries and the taste buds are equally happy.
That’s certainly the case with this recipe. If we think of butter at one end of the health spectrum, a spread consisting of olive oil, parsley and garlic is at the other.
I’m not one to blaspheme butter, but if a basket of rolls hot from the oven were placed on the table: no contest. Olive oil mixed with garlic and parsley wins.
We happened upon this alternative about three years ago when eating at The Stinking Rose in San Francisco — a restaurant the celebrates garlic in all of its glory. Within seconds of being seated, a loaf of crusty bread, along with a bowl of pulverized parsley, garlic and olive oil arrived at the table, which leads one to question, how these people manage to make any money. After a deep dive into this kind of a a delicacy, it’s hard to imagine anything on the menu being better.
Long story short, this combination worked it’s way into our hearts and has stuck with us ever since. Thank you Stinking Rose.
I never asked for the recipe, so the following proportions may not be true to the source. But they’ve always worked for us.
1/3 cup tightly packed fresh parsley (If fresh oregano or basil are on hand, toss some extra leaves into the mix)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Finely chop parsley and other herbs. Add minced garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt and olive oil. Mix thoroughly.
Serve with bread or rolls and keep on hand as a condiment or seasoning whenever a flavor boost is needed.
Wait there’s more!
This Tomato Herb Soup fits the Mediterranean Diet and would be great with whole grain rolls and this Garlic, Olive Oil and Parsley Spread.
Even though the skies couldn’t be bluer and temperatures have been in the 70s and 80s for the past few weeks, we are still technically in the soup and stew season, and we are not about to let a little global warming cut this season shorter than it already is for Austin. Our friends, Mark and Jane, joined us for dinner last night, and seeing as it was Ground Hog Day, root vegetables seemed fitting for a main course. Potato soup is one of the first recipes that I called my own, and it’s been high on my list for many years as a comfort food and wicked proof that the simplest ingredients can join forces to do great things.
2 Tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
6 white potatoes pealed and chopped
3 yellow onions chopped
1 cup chopped, fresh parsley
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup half and half (optional)
Peel and rough chop potatoes and onions.
Melt butter in an extra large sauce pan or stock pot. Add olive oil, followed by potatoes and onions.
Cook on medium high for at least 30 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender. Add 1 cup of stock if the vegetables appear to be getting too dry.
Combine 1/2 cup of the chopped parsley, along with salt and pepper, and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the remaining stock. Puree potatoes and onions using an immersion blender. If using a freestanding blender instead, puree the soup in batches, pouring a cup or two of room temperature stock into the blender prior to adding the hot vegetables.
Add 1/2 cup of half and half and the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh parsley to the blended soup and reheat for 15 minutes.
I got turned on to Pesto about 10 years ago in the midst of a bumper crop of backyard basil. That summer, when we were well stocked with homemade Pesto, I often found myself checking out the tiny tubs of it in the grocery, simply to wallow in the satisfaction of not paying exorbitant prices for the inferior store-bought stuff. Then last year, my success as a basil grower took a turn. Continue reading Basil, Arugula and Parsley Pesto→