Tag Archives: parsley

Homemade Buttermilk Dressing (ranch dressing)

I am a herb gardener. Herbs are thriving in this summer heat. Since fresh tastes best.

This is my version of Ranch Dressing.

Homemade Buttermilk Dressing (ranch dressing) with fresh herbs

Use fresh herbs when you have them. Substitute Penzeys Fox Point seasoning for onions and garlic.

1 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt (low or fat-free may be used)

1 cup buttermilk (low-fat is ok)

juice of ½ lemon

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

salt & freshly ground black pepperto taste

Combine yogurt and lemon in a pint Mason jar. Add garlic,chives, parsley and, dill. Pour in half the butter milk. Whisk or shake all ingredients are well blended. (Or I use an emersion blender.)

Continue adding up to ½ cup of buttermilk until dressing is the desired consistency. (I use 1 whole cup of buttermilk.)

Makes 1 pint. Keeps for a week in the fridge. Always shake before using.

Note the expiration date on the buttermilk and let that date be your expiration for this Ranch Dressing. Always shake before using.

If you use fat free yogurt instead of mayo, the dressing is still creamy and now low fat salad dressing. Try it. I prefer it with yogurt because you can not tell the difference.

Mix ingredients in a bowl or jar.

Use these dried herbs in winter or to make a gift mixes.

Dry Ranch Mix

1/2 cup instant minced onion
1/4 cup onion salt
1/4 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup garlic powder

2 cups dry parsley flakes
2 tablespoons dry dill weed

Measure first five ingredients, minced onion, onion salt, garlic salt, onion powder and garlic powder, into a blender or food processor and blend until combined. Stir in parsley and dill. Store and keep mix dry. A Mason jar or freezer bag work well. Label and include instructions for dressing or dip. Label it. You think you will remember, but you won’t.

Include these instructions on the gift tag:

Buttermilk Dressing

1 cup plain yogurt (or mayonnaise)

1 cup of buttermilk

juice of ½ lemon

2 Tablespoons Dry Ranch Mix

Combine 2 Tablespoons dry mix, one cup plain Greek yogurt, lemon and one cup buttermilk. Allow flavors to blend for at least an hour in the fridge before using.

The original recipe called for mayo instead of yogurt but I pinky swear you will not be able to tell the difference.

If you make ranch chicken, ranch dip, ranch potatoes, ranch flavored oyster crackers or, ranch burgers, substitute this recipe for the packaged recipe with too much salt, msg, and other unpronounceable ingredients.

Sliced tomato with buttermilk dressing.

This is how to share with the Ranch Dressing store bought bottled users:

At “pass the ranch.”  give him your homemade version.

There is no need to  discuss that half the calories are missing, most of the salt and fat are gone. AFTER he says he likes it Then you can tell him.

Bluecheese crumbles and chopped basil.  photo PBH.

 

 

Homemade Buttermilk Dressing with blue cheese and basil.

Start with 1/4 cup blue cheese and 1 tablespoon of basil. Taste, adjust cheese and herbs.

Curly or Flat Leaf Parsley – which is better?

Parsley

From Herb Combanion Blog

A Kitchen Garden essential

reseeded parsley

Volunteer parsley and chives are up and growing before other herbs.

I’m already thinking about spring. It’s time to order seeds and think about what I will grow in my home garden. One seed I know I will be ordering is parsley. Parsley seed is best started indoors and then planted in the herb garden. Although it is very slow to germinate, don’t give up; don’t be discouraged!

I grow both the curly and flat-leaved variety. They can be interchanged in most any recipe. However, dedicated Italian cooks will swear that flat-leaf parsley (or Italian parsley) is the very best.

Really, I use whichever is available (or which plants need a trim). When curley parsly leaves are small or young, they are milder and sweeter; the full parsley flavor comes as the plant matures. Its flavor intensifies even more after it is chopped for recipes.

1-6-2011-parsley stew
I use my La Chamba pottery to serve Braised Beef and Short Ribs with Parsley.
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. In fact, a glass of parsley juice would have as much vitamin C as a glass of orange juice. Now, I’m not advocating that you give up your glass of morning sunshine—the idea is probably not a trend setter—but it might help you feel virtuous about eating your garnish.

Fresh herbs add sparkle to any recipe

If this is your first try at growing herbs from seed, don’t give up. Start seeds indoors to get a head start.

When you eventually transplant your parsley, also scatter a few seeds near the plant. The plant will serve as a marker to remind you when the seed does come up.

In addition to the volunteer parsley that comes up earlier than anything I sow, I am starting Italian ‘Gigante’ parsley from seed. I have always had great success with seed I order from Renee’s Garden. Find additional help and encouragement on the Renee’s website. There are some very creative and original recipes there too.

Flat Leaf or Curly Parsley – which is best?

Herb Companion Blog

Parsley for Your Spring Garden

by Patsy Bell Hobson

I’m already thinking about spring. It’s time to order seeds and think about what I will grow in my home garden. One seed I know I will be ordering is parsley. Parsley seed is best started indoors and then planted in the herb garden. Although it is very slow to germinate, don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged!

I grow both the curly and flat-leaved variety. They can be interchanged in most any recipe. However, dedicated Italian cooks will swear that flat-leaf parsley (or Italian parsley) is the very best.

Really, I use whichever is available (or which plants need a trim). When curley parsly leaves are small or young, they are milder and sweeter; the full parsley flavor comes as the plant matures. Its flavor intensifies even more after it is chopped for recipes.

1-6-2011-parsley stew
La Chambra pottery to serve Braised Beef Short Ribs with Parsley.
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. In fact, a glass of parsley juice would have as much vitamin C as a glass of orange juice. Now, I’m not advocating that you give up your glass of morning sunshine—the idea is probably not a trend setter—but it might help you feel virtuous about eating your garnish.

If this is your first try at growing herbs from seed, don’t give up. Start seeds indoors to get a head start. When you eventually transplant your parsley, also scatter a few seeds near the plant. The plant will serve as a marker to remind you when the seed does come up.

curly parsley

Volunteer seeds are always the first up in the garden. These curly leaf parsley will go into the first spring greens garden salad.

‘Gigante Italian’ Parsley, Not Just Garnish

by Patsy Bell Hobson

Tags: Giveaway, Parsley, Italian Parsley, Preservation Tips, Harvest Tips

I’ve never lived where parsley grew as a biennial. Parsley has always been an annual in my garden. Until last summer.

Fresh parsley grows early spring until late fall

Instead of it growing about a foot tall, it grew to about three feet. Then, this overachiever bloomed. That’s when its family tree became apparent.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a member of the carrot family. When it blooms, the family resemblance to its cousin, Queen Ann’s Lace (Daucus carota), is striking.

This year, volunteer parsley have appeared where the giant grew and self-seeded last summer. The self-seeded plants came weeks ahead of the seeds I sowed. If you are content to let the parsley grow where ever it wants, you won’t have to disturb the fussy tap-root.

Allow parsley to self seed for an earlier harvest.

Chop parsley and combine with room temp butter. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

How To Preserve Parsley

• Wash and chop the leaves. Fill an ice cube tray with the leaves. Add water (or vegetable broth) to fill the cups of a plastic ice-cube tray. Place in freezer until the cubes are frozen. Pop the cubes out and store in an airtight container in your freezer. Thaw when needed by dropping a cube into soup or sauce.

• You can make a parsley pesto in the same way you make your favorite version of basil pesto. Dry parsley if you must, but its color is dull and the flavor is similar to notebook paper.

• Parsley butter will also preserve the color and flavor better than drying and freezes well. Read Herbal Butters and Oils: Garden Herb Butter to learn more.

Remove the stems in recipes calling for fresh parsley.

I always plant and grow twice as much parley as I need because parsley is a wonderful choice for attracting black swallowtail butterflies. Curley and flat-leaf parsley have a very high vitamin C content. It also contains vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium, iron, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.

Other herbs in a butterfly garden should include dill and fennel.

Parsley, dill and fennel are taking over my Zone 6 garden. If you let these herbs self-seed they will come up earlier and hardier than the seeds you sow this spring. If you are not obsessed with growing plants in straight lines or rows, the self-sown plants are a bargain. They don’t all come up at once, which will extend your harvest season.

Seed Packet Giveaway!

Flat leaf parsley photo by Renees Garden

My “Free Seed Packet” giveaways are attracting readers to this Herb Companion Blog and, the seed companies are very generous. I love introducing you to some of my favorite seed sources. In addition to the volunteer parsley, I am growing Italian ‘Gigante’ parsley from Renee’s Garden.

There are a lot of new herb gardeners out there. So, when I mention seed sources, they consistently deliver the products they advertise on time with a generous seed count. Their seeds thrive in my garden. Renee’s Garden has volunteered three packets of Italian ‘Gigante’ parsley to give away. It is not too late to plant seed. Just be mindful of the moisture and never let the soil or seedlings dry out.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 2010

Reluctant bloomers

It’s “slim pickins” in the garden as my grandmother used to say. But I have the random daffodil returning for a repeat performance this year. Most of the little sunny dafs are holding out for blue skies and warmer weather. Some grape hyacinth and crocus are waiting in the wings for spring days filled with sunshine and birdsong.

hesitant blooms may need more sun

This single plant has more than a dozen buds waiting to bloom.

I’m taking these photos for Bloom Day but most of these bulbs will have come and gone between Bloom Days.

There are early bloomers protected by the old trees, but the ones out in the yard are waiting, waiting, like me.

Daffodils protected by the tree and in full sun.

The earliest daffodils are leading the bulb bloom.

I’m sort of a homeless blogger this week as I get a new site up and running. These things always take more time than you think (like weeding and watering.)

Most of all I wanted to share this volunteer parsley. I’ve never had parsley that is indeed it’s true self; a biennial. I let last years second year parsley reseed. The plant was enormous, growing three or four times larger than my little “annual parsley.” The reseeded parsley is weeks ahead of the plants I am patiently waiting to sprout from seed. This year, I soaked the seed for 24 hours be for planting in the seed tray.

This is my herb growing tip of the month: Drain the soaked seed on a coffee filter. Seeds won’t stick to the filter like they do to paper towels.

reseeded parsley

Parsley and chives are up and growing before other herbs.

coffee filters are better than paper towels.

Seeds drained on coffee filters do not stick to the filter.

Parsley


Common parsley, Petroselinium crispum, a member of the carrot family (Apiaceae) I never grew parsley as a biannual before. But this year the parsley came back and took off on it’s mission to reproduce seed in the second year.

It’s grown as an annual in my garden both as a food source to butterfly caterpillars and some of my favorite recipes. Snip this leafy stalk-like herb close to the ground and begin clipping on the outside edges of the bunch. Cutting parsley like this will encourage new growth. Keep pruning parsley all season. Usually parsley grows to about 12 inches tall in my garden the first year.

This second year, I just left the plant to grow a second year. It grew about three feet tall before blooming and setting seed. Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars which are black, green and yellow caterpillars feast on parley. So I always plant a lot of parsley. Parsley is slow to germinate from seed. Be patient, and keep the soil moist. Parsley leaves are very high vitamin C content. They also contain vitamin A, B1, B2, Calcium, Iron, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.

I’m collecting seed this year to plant next spring. I’ve always purchased seed for growing both curly and flat leaved varieties. When I have a lot of fresh parsley, I tend to use it more. One of my favorite summer recipes includes loads of fresh parsley, mint, and tomatoes.

Really, it’s not good unless you have fresh parsley.

Recipe for Toubli is here:
Tabouli Salad and Lemon Thyme Couscous

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