Parsley-Garlic Salad Dressing

October 17, 2012

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Got Parsley?

Growing up, the only time I ever actually ate parsley was during the Passover Seder when we dipped it into salt water. It was an edible symbol of the tears the Jewish people shed when they were slaves under Pharaoh. I remember barely tolerating the bitter tang of the parsley yet loving the hit of salt on my tongue.

At any other time of the year, parsley typically only showed up as the requisite garnish with diner specials, deviled eggs or shrimp cocktail. The green sprig was intended to “fancy up” a dish and was usually discarded to the side of the plate, never to be touched again.

I didn’t really care to consider eating parsley until I started eating tabbouleh salad. I fell in love with the green freshness that parsley brought to the grain. It took several years after discovering tabbouleh to lead me to discover and enjoy another parsley recipe.

I found it buried in a small Passover cookbook and it used parsley as the star of a salad dressing. I tweaked the recipe to better reflect my style of eating, but happily kept the huge bouquet of parsley as the foundation. It has become my “go to” salad dressing and is especially wonderful to serve when entertaining guests, as it’s easy and can be made several days in advance.

Did you know that parsley has a flavonoid called luteolin, which promotes carbohydrate metabolism and seeks out and destroys free radicals in the body? Every 2 tablespoons of parsley contains antioxidants: 16% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C as well as 12% of the RDA of vitamin A.

Those same 2 tablespoons of parsley also contain 153% of the RDA of vitamin K, which prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to heart disease and stroke. Vitamin K also plays a role in strengthening the composition of our bones. For me, this appeals much more than drinking a glass of that white substance that gives people in print ads a mustache!

I invite you to think is parsley as an healthy herb and to eat it often. This salad dressing is a great way to begin!

Parsley-Garlic Salad Dressing

I have come to really appreciate the green tang and freshness that parsley flavors dishes with. Although the refined subtleness of Italian flat-leafed parsley seems to be the “belle of the ball” lately, there are times when I crave the brash forthrightness of regular curly parsley! In addition to using this to dress salads, I also toss roasted vegetables with it and a spoonful or two on a baked sweet potato is sublime!

How To Make Parsley-Garlic Salad Dressing:

½ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup olive oil
1/3  cup apple cider vinegar
1 large clump of curly parsley with their stems
3 cloves garlic, or to taste, minced
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
About 5 basil leaves or a handful of dill, chopped (optional)
Salt to taste

Place all the ingredients, except for the salt, into a blender. You may have to add in the parsley in a couple of batches.

Process until salad dressing is smooth and thick and a gorgeous bright green.

Remove salad dressing to a bowl or container and add salt to taste.

Makes 2 cups

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