If pesto is August – Genovese basil ground with green olive oil and pine nuts – then November is parsley butter. We have had an unusually warm fall here in the Northeast as tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico push warm air and tepid ocean water up the coast, changing our Maine November to a balmy May – complete with heavy fog and mosquitoes. It won’t last. When the 20 degree nights return, the Gigante d’Italia Parsley will still be growing glossy and dark green in the raised bed near the front door.
I don’t really have a recipe for parsley butter – it’s more of a kitchen staple. Try this on a bowl of hot pasta, in an omelet, or as we did yesterday, on tea sandwiches.
Put a cup (2 sticks) of salted butter, cut into 1″ slices, in your food processor. One stick will work too, but it isn’t enough mass for a regular (8 cup?) bowl and you’ll spend a lot of time stopping the machine and using a spatula to force the lump of butter back into circulation. Trust me, I know.
Add a huge amount of parsley. (See, I told you this wasn’t really a recipe.) A close gripped handful of leaves or about a cup chopped loosely, should do it. Use the small leaves close to the center of the plant for this, if you have a plant. I have been known to use two cups on occasion – like right before the final freeze in January, when I know it will be July before I do this again.
Add some oregano (2 tsp dry, 1/4 C fresh), 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt. Pulse until the mixture is bright green and looks like you could spread it without chunks of plant material getting in the way.
Now dry some cucumber slices in a clean dish towel, get out your Pepperidge Farm thin white slices, and make some tea sandwiches. It’s a good thing.