Parsley: think of it as a vegetable – doesn’t that help?

This week's haul from Alameda Natural Grocery.  We'll be talking 'bout those two bunches of parsley today (they're in the upper left corner).  That's slices of tofu on the cutting board - I made 'em into a tofu salad, but more on that in another post ...

A dish-drainer’s worth of roots and greens from Alameda Natural Grocery.  We’ll be talking ’bout those two bunches of parsley today (they’re in the upper left corner). The other veg include peacock kale (upper right), black radish (center), and puntarella (lower right corner).  That’s slices of tofu on the cutting board – I made ’em into a tofu salad, but more on that in another post …

I’m sure you know by now that I like to cook, and that I like to make sure that the Mister and I get enough veggies down our gullets.  Having different options on hand keeps things interesting, so I try to pick up an assortment of vegetables on marketing day.  This week’s batch of vegetables includes some long-keepers (uncut, the red cabbage will last well into next week), some eat-sooner-rather-than-later options (the puntarella, which we’ll eat tomorrow night as a salad with whatever the Mister prepares for supper), and some basic staples (parsley and some onions).  As you can imagine, it takes a good little bit of time on marketing day to purchase, clean and carefully store that week’s vegetables, but that’s time well spent to in my book.

“Well,” you say, “that’s all very nice for you, but I don’t have time to purchase, clean and carefully store vegetables.”  Worse yet, you say, the vegetables that you do buy get tossed into the back of your fridge and ignored until they turn into grey, slimy puddles of yuck.  “I’m too busy to deal with this!”, you explain, and go back to your full-time jobs and social calendars and children and dogs and homes and really, really busy lives.

This bag just about KILLS me - it's made of taffeta, embroidered to look like one of those "thank you for shopping with us" disposable plastic totes.   I used it to carry home my shopping from the Marketplace this Sunday.

This bag just about KILLS me – it’s made of taffeta, embroidered to look like one of those “thank you for shopping with us” disposable plastic bags.  It’s designed by Lauren DiCioccio, and made by The Workshop Residence in San Francisco.  Mum-of-mine gave me the bag for my b-day (it’s become the thing to give as a present in our family).

I hear you, my pets, oh do I hear you.  But you know, you ought to eat fresh vegetables, really you ought.  And the purchase, cleaning, and storing of vegetables needn’t be an epic task.  You needn’t have six varieties of kale on hand in order to insure that you eat enough veggies.  Nope.  Parsley will start you in the right direction:  just teach yourself to think of it as more a vegetable than an herb.  Mincing a big bunch of parsley with a bit of onion forms a tasty mixture that can be added to anything savory you fix during the week (either food that you prepare at home or food that you purchase).  Use enough parsley in the mix and it becomes a source of fresh leafy greens.  Making salads are a snap when you have this mixture on hand, by the way.  It uses inexpensive ingredients, is simple to prepare, and lasts at least a week in the fridge.  Instead of slowly decomposing in the bottom of your fridge, your parsley will spend a happy week in the company of its good friend, a bit of onion, the two of them snugly sealed away in a jar or other covered container.   Mmmm, mmm, good!

Simple instructions for parsley and onion melange:

Purchase a large bunch of parsley and an onion of some kind the next time you’re at the grocery.  (I prefer flat leaf parsley, but you might prefer curly leaf.)  Come home, tip the parsley into a basin of cold fresh water (if using, soak the green onions with the parsley).  Let ’em soak while you put away your other purchases.  Groceries tidied away, swirl the parsley to clean, drain and vigorously shake the water off (do the same with the green onions, if using).

This is the flat leaf parsley, chopped and ready to be minced with the onion.  The curly leaf parsley, which I chopped separately, didn't look much different when it had been chopped, so I'll spare you the photo ...

I used both flat leaf and curly leaf parsley.  This is the flat leaf, chopped and ready to be minced with the onion. The curly leaf parsley, which I chopped separately, didn’t look much different when it had been chopped, so I’ll spare you the photo …

Next step: roughly chop that there parsley.  Use a large-enough knife, and make sure that the knife is sharp.  (Haven’t got a large-enough knife, or have knives that aren’t sharp enough to cut butter?  Come see me at the Pantry on any given Wednesday, and we can fix that, toot sweet.)  Don’t worry about getting perfectly-sized bits of parsley, my dears.  It ain’t worth the bother.  Put the chopped parsley aside.

This is what two 1/2" slices of red onion look like after being roughly chopped.  Red onion is a little milder than yellow onions, so I used a little bit more than I would have of the latter.  Green onions are my FAVORITE onion to use in this melange, but I'd forgotten to purchase some and so I used what I had in the fridge.  That's the way I cook, people - "damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!"

This is what two 1/2″ slices of red onion look like after being roughly chopped. Red onion is a little milder than yellow onions, so I used a little bit more than I would have of the latter. Green onions are my FAVORITE onion to use in this mixture, but I’d forgotten to purchase some and so I used what I had in the fridge. That’s the way I cook, people – “damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!”

Parsley roughly chopped?  Now roughly chop some onion.  A little bit of onion will go a long way here, so start small and add more if necessary.  For one good-sized bunch of parsley, I use the green tops of three or four green onions (or, for stronger flavor, an equal amount of the white part of green onions).  Yellow or red bulb onions are much stronger than green onions, so only use a slice or two of those strong beauties.  Again, just roughly chop the onions – no need to get perfectly equal bits of stinky onion goodness.

I like the texture you get when you mince the parsley with the onions, and it insures that the two ingredients are well mixed.  It's also fun the chop the dickens out of something every once and a while.  Therapeutic, if you know what I mean.  Notice that lovely bowl?

I like the texture you get when you mince the parsley with the onions, and it insures that the two ingredients are well mixed. It’s also fun the chop the dickens out of something every once and a while. Therapeutic, if you know what I mean. Notice that lovely bowl?

Last step – add the chopped parsley to the chopped onions, and start mincing away.  Use the knife to lift up from the sides and down towards the center of the pile as you go, insuring even mincing.  Mince, mince, mince away until you have a nice pile of relatively-evenly sized parsley and onion …  Take a moment to clean your work space – vigorous mincing will scatter bits of green about, but that’s a small price to pay for the convenience of having such a yummy mixture available on demand during the week.

Isn't this bowl a thing of loveliness and grace?  It's an enameled bowl from Barn Light Electric Co (blogged about here, and available for sale here), part of a set that the Mister gave me for my birthday.  Oh, I like these bowls, mmmm yes I do.  The parsley-onion mixture isn't too bad, either.

Isn’t this bowl a thing of loveliness and grace? It’s an enamel bowl from Barn Light Electric Co (blogged about here, and available for sale here), part of a set that the Mister gave me for my birthday. Oh, I like these bowls, mmmm yes I do. The parsley-onion mixture isn’t too bad, either.

Wasn’t that quick and simple to make?  And what, you ask, can you put the mixture on?  Well, I’m glad you asked!  I took these photos before I prepped for date night last night.  I finished the photo shoot and put some Yellow Finn potatoes on the hob to cook for a salad for that night’s cocktail snacks.  The parsley-onion mixture starred in that salad later in the evening, and as I waited for the pot of potatoes to boil, I treated myself to mouthfuls of pita chips that I used to scoop tahini sauce (both store-bought), which I topped with spoonfuls of the parsley mixture.  I also nommed on a few slices of last week’s red beet fridge pickles, and I felt that all was right in the world.

I’ll be back next week with more bits and pieces.  Do you like pickled beets?  I could give you instructions for making ’em, if you’d like.  Or I could report back on the difference between curly leaf and flat leaf parsley – have you ever wondered if the two are different?  Perhaps I should revisit the subject of chicken stock – I’ve adjusted the way I make it, much to the betterment of my stock.  Hmmm, so many ideas, so little time …

Until next time, my pets, take care of yourselves.  – yr little munakins

Houseproud kitchen - parsley and onion melange action shot

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