A week dedicated to a… garnish? Yes I know, parsley is probably most often used as a garnish on the side of your plate in restaurants. But basing a week on a boring garnish was not really why I chose parsley.
I loved garlic week last week, but I wasn’t necessarily eager to breath near anyone afterwards. Bradley thought about it and had a fantastic idea, “Well, why don’t you do theme of something that gets rid of garlic breath?” Genius. That’s why I keep him around. Now, who knows if this is actually true, but I heard at one point that parsley was placed on plates in restaurants so diners could nibble on it to cleanse their palettes at the end of their meal. Whether that is true or not, it doesn’t dissuade me from knowing that parsley does indeed help remove garlic smells off your breath.
This week was definitely challenging working with parsley as it is a very strong grassy flavor on it’s own. I think most people just add it as a ingredient within many dishes instead of letting it speak for itself. Since it is really a healthy ingredient, I wanted to highlight it’s flavor and give you some options on what to use parsley for.
I had planned three awesome parsley recipes for this week, but then I found out that tomorrow – April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Day. Um, well I had to make a grilled cheese sandwich. How do I not at that point? So… I changed one of my recipe ideas.
Now, I pointed out at the beginning that parsley is a traditional ‘side of the plate’ garnish. Well, so are orange slices. I know this because almost every weekend I get huevos rancheros at my favorite diner and it comes out with parsley and orange slices hanging off the edge. Since I see them together so often, why not play up that whole relationship? It’s that whole sweet/savory concept.
So what I ended up with is a simple grilled cheese sandwich on a light white bread. Might as well keep something traditional. On one side of the sandwich I smeared a mix of fresh parsley, seasoning and olive oil. It is basically a naked pesto – no nuts or cheese. On the other side, I used a basic orange marmalade, then the two flavors met on either side of several slices of havarti cheese.
It was magical, an ooey gooey sandwich that combines a grassy herb with a sweet jam. I know there are so many options for grilled cheese sandwiches. Sweet, savory, meaty, veggie, or all of the above. I decided to use garnishes to make my grilled cheese offering. Yeah, I am odd.
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 slices bread
- 8 slices havarti cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoon orange marmalade
- Mix parsley, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a small bowl, set aside.
- Spread one side of four slices of bread with ½ tablespoon of butter each. In a large flat skillet, lay the bread slices butter side down. Spread the tops facing upwards with a spoonful of parsley spread. Lay 2 slices of havarti cheese on top.
- On the other four slices of bread, spread ½ tablespoon of orange marmalade each. Place jam side down on top of the cheese, then spread the butter on top of each sandwich. Turn on the heat to medium, amd cover the skillet.
- Cook 3-5 minutes on each side until browned and the cheese is melted.