Parsley and Butter Lettuce With Grapefruit-Shallot Dressing
Butter lettuces are a great match for this tart dressing, but anything in the chicory family – escarole, curly endive, frisee – would also pair well. If you prefer, fresh lemon juice can be substituted for the grapefruit.
Leaves from 1 pound bibb or butterhead lettuce (may substitute other tender lettuce)
1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 teaspoon fine or flaked sea salt, or more as needed
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces aged sheep’s- or goat’s-milk cheese, such as manchego or garrotxa (optional)
Rinse the lettuce and parsley in a large bowl of cold water. Drain, dry and place in a mixing bowl.
Combine the shallot, grapefruit juice and salt in a small bowl; let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk in the oil; season with pepper to taste.
Pour the dressing over the lettuce and parsley. Use your hands to gently toss the salad, making sure the greens are evenly coated. Taste a leaf for salt and pepper, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Divide among individual plates. Break the cheese into chunks or use a vegetable peeler to shave light shards of cheese over each portion. Makes 6 servings.
Pasta With Chickpeas, Celery and Parsley
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for the cooking water
1 1/2 cups celery pieces, cut on the diagonal 1/4 -inch wide (first cut vertically if the ribs are especially wide)
8 ounces dried pasta, preferably penne or another short, tubular shape
1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed, then chopped
2 dried arbol chili peppers, seeded and broken into small pieces
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned no-salt-added chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse)
1/4 cup packed, coarsely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then add the celery; cook/blanch for 1 or 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or Chinese skimmer to transfer the celery to a colander, and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Drain.
Once the water in the pot returns to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
When the pasta is about 5 minutes from being al dente, heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic (to taste) and dried arbol peppers; cook, stirring every minute or so, until the garlic is almost golden and the peppers are starting to brown. Stir in the blanched celery and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; it should be tender yet retain a little resistance. Stir in the chickpeas, season with the 1 teaspoon of salt and with black pepper to taste, and warm through.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of its cooking water. Add the pasta, the parsley and a few tablespoons of the cooking water to the pan, stirring to incorporate the ingredients and dislodge any bits of garlic or peppers stuck to the bottom of the pan. If the mixture seems dry, add more of the reserved cooking water.
Ladle the mixture into individual wide, shallow bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil over each portion. Serve right away, offering grinds of black pepper at the table. Makes 4 servings.
Parsley, Olive, Egg and Ricotta Sandwiches
These fillings are especially nice on a baguette, but toasted or grilled bread works well. Alternatively, you can omit the bread altogether and serve the omelets folded over or rolled up around dollops of ricotta, with the parsley salad spooned over the top.
The recipe doubles easily.
For the eggs and sandwiches:
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup packed, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 slices bread from a crusty, country-style loaf (may substitute half of a baguette, halved crosswise, then lengthwise, for a total of 4 pieces)
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the bread
1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
For the salad:
1/4 cup packed, sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup pitted, chopped green olives, such as Castelvetrano, Lucques, Picholine or other green olives, alone or in combination
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
For the eggs and sandwiches: Crack 2 eggs each into two bowls, and use a fork to beat well. Divide the salt and parsley evenly between the bowls.
Brush each side of the sliced bread with a little oil; toast until just barely golden.
Meanwhile, heat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and swirl to coat the surface.
Once the oil is hot, pour in half of the egg-parsley mixture (one bowl’s worth), which should begin to bubble immediately. Tilt the skillet as needed so the eggs cook in an even, thin layer; use a spatula to gently lift the outer edges of the egg so any uncooked parts can flow underneath. Once the egg has set, use a wide spatula to gently flip them over. Cook for just a few seconds, until set on the second side.
(Alternatively, eggs cooked in a heatproof skillet can be slipped under a broiler for a few seconds to set.)
Transfer to a plate; repeat with the remaining teaspoon of oil and the remaining egg mixture.
For the salad: Just before assembling the sandwiches, combine the sliced parsley with the olives, squeeze over 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, drizzle with the oil and toss to combine.
Cut the egg into pieces or strips that will about cover the bread slices in two layers. Spread the ricotta on the bottom piece of bread for each sandwich and top equally with the egg pieces or strips. Spoon the parsley-olive salad equally over each portion of the egg. Sprinkle a few grinds of black pepper over the salad, if desired, then top each sandwich with its remaining slice of bread. Makes 2 servings.
– Washington freelance writer Emily Horton