Friday, October 16, 2015

An Everyday Salad

The past harvest season for our small backyard vegetable garden was our first, and much more plentiful than I expected.  We had a steady supply of tomatoes and herbs for most of the summer, and a few bumper crops of lettuce and arugula.  And parsley.  Way too much parsley.

I'm not one to let all this parsley go to waste, so I turned to my trusty Ottolenghi cookbook and find an herb salad recipe, described as "astonishingly fresh" and "one of the most gratifying dishes you can possibly make".  I'd like to add that eating an herb salad is much like consuming the sun's energy directly through your mouth.  Good for you, and good to eat: I liked it so much that I started to eat it as a meal on its own, and then I tweaked it here and there to make it easier to prepare.  No measuring, no chopping.  Just a series of coordinated, quick movements around the kitchen, and you'll be treating your body to a glorious parsley salad in no time.

Parsley Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Currants
Makes 1 large meal-sized salad.

Consider having this salad with an open-faced tomato sandwich, when tomatoes are in season.  Or, consider wiping up the browned butter left in your skillet with a big chunk of crusty, chewy bread.

1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsalted, raw, hulled sunflower seeds
2 generous pinches of sea salt, divided
juice of 1/2 small lemon
a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried currants

Wash parsley well, and shake off excess water.  Pick off leaves and place into a large mixing bowl.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a frying pan, until it melts and starts to bubble.  Add sunflower seeds and a pinch of salt, and stir constantly until the seeds are golden brown, about 2 minutes.  They will burn quickly if unwatched.  Pour seeds and hot butter on top of parsley leaves.  Add lemon juice, olive oil, another pinch of salt, and currants.  Toss gently, and serve.


  1. Mmm, browned butter in a salad!

    1. Haha. It sure gives toasted sunflower seeds an extra rich, nutty flavour.

  2. Oh yum. And I agree with DK's comment about brown butter. I do a similar salad but with chopped Kale, almonds and raisins. :)

    Speaking of herb salads, I recently had a salad of mainly mint leaves at Jamie Oliver's restaurant which was super delicious.

  3. Oh and there's a generous handful of parmesan in the kale salad too.

  4. Mmm. I'm curious to know what sort of dressing you use. i've found raw minced garlic to be an awesome addition to kale salads. Mint salad? Genius.