Parsley “Pesto”

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Parsley “Pesto”Simpler, purer, less complex than traditional pesto, parsley purée is — to me at least — even more useful. For one thing, you can find decent parsley year-round. For another, it’s a brighter, fresher purée and therefore less specific in its uses. And, as you can see from the variations, different herbs work equally well.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • Put the parsley with a pinch salt, the garlic, and about half the oil in a food processor or blender. Process, stopping to scrape down the side of the container if necessary, and adding the rest of the oil gradually.
  • Add the vinegar, then a little more oil or some water if you prefer a thinner mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple of days.
  • CILANTRO PURÉE, DILL PURÉE, BASIL PURÉE, OR MINT PURÉE These are good; they’re especially great with grilled vegetables: Substitute any of these herbs (leaves only or very thin stems too) for the parsley.
  • CHIMICHURRI Very strong: Use 3 or more cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice, and at least 1 teaspoon red chile flakes. Do not refrigerate.
  • GREEN OLIVE MOJO Intense: Reduce the olive oil to ¼ cup; use ¼ cup fresh lime juice, or to taste, in place of the vinegar. After puréeing, use the food processor to pulse in 1 cup pitted green olives; or chop the olives by hand and add them. In any case, do not purée them.

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