F&W Free Preview All You Coastal Living Cooking Light Food and Wine tab Health myRecipes Southern Living Sunset
My F&W
quick save (...)

Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

RSS
Ingredients

An Unexpected Benefit of Compost

default-image

My family started composting in our backyard last year, and this summer, my husband scattered some of the resulting soil in the bed where we plant thyme, basil, parsley and sage. A few weeks later, out sprouted two big, leafy plants we didn't recognize. "It looks like some kind of squash," said my husband, who grew up with a quarter-acre vegetable plot in his backyard. So we let the mystery plants grow. It turns out, the seeds from a spaghetti squash we'd eaten last summer must have survived the composting process. We got tons of rain this summer, so we never even watered the plants. A few weeks ago, we had our first harvest. I cooked a squash using steps 1 & 3 from this recipe by F&W's Marcia Kiesel and tossed the strands with some whole-wheat spaghetti and pesto. The process of composting is basically benign neglect—you throw vegetable peelings, eggshells and leaves in a pile and let it sit. I never expected I would also get a vegetable garden without having to lift a finger.

Ingredients

Can't get enough Parsley

default-image

 Right now I am eating my way through the bushy hedge of flat-leaf parsley bordering my garden. Using the parsley like spinach, I recently blanched a pile of leaves, sautéed them with garlic and lemon, put them in a baking dish and dotted them with goat cheese. Then I topped them with bread crumbs and olive oil and baked them in a hot oven. Super!

To get ready for winter, I plan to make a puree with the blanched leaves, then mix it with olive oil for freezing in small batches. That way I'll have it on hand to drizzle over soft- or hard-cooked eggs, cheese grits and smoked-salmon sandwiches.

Here, a few more ideas for this underrated green:

Make a salad of parsley leaves and celery dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, then tuck it into a pita pocket along with olives, feta and tomatoes.
Chop a mess of parsley and stir it into mayo for a sandwich spread. Tasty and vitamin packed, it's mightier than lettuce.
Make parsley pesto in the blender to toss with angel hair pasta and scallops or to dress green beans and/or cooked, sliced potatoes.
Make salsa verde for poached chicken and grilled fish.

advertisement
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
How we use your email address
advertisement
Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.