Recipe: Spring Parsley Pesto
With March comes the promise of sunnier, warmer days, inspiring many people to get outside and into the woods, parks or whatever green spaces their town has to offer.
Unfortunately, for many people the arrival of spring also means another round of seasonal allergies and the accompanying symptoms. Many people suffer through weeks of a runny nose, watery eyes and a scratchy throat, which make it hard to want to get outside and relish in the new growth sprouting up all around.
Instead of immediately reaching for the Claritin, consider learning about the herbs and foods growing right outside that might support you in alleviating your symptoms this year.
This recipe for parsley pesto is a twist on an old classic. Its vibrant green color is meant to help ring in spring, while the substitution of parsley for basil is meant to support you in fighting off some of those nasty allergies. Parsley is recognized for its potential to alleviate allergic reactions because of a naturally occurring antioxidant called quercetin, which is found in many plants as well as several common foods, including parsley. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine, meaning it blocks the release of the compound histamine, which the body releases in response to allergic and inflammatory reactions. Quercetin also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be very beneficial in mitigating the severity of allergic reactions.
This recipe also includes mint, for more fresh, springy flavor, and garlic, another nutritional powerhouse. Research has shown that garlic can actually suppress the release of a substance called beta-hexosaminidase. Stopping the body’s release of beta-hexosaminidase is linked to stopping or reducing allergic reactions. Garlic also has vitamin C, which is great for boosting immunity, it has strong germ-killing effects and it has been used for centuries to treat lung ailments such as asthma and pneumonia.
Spread this pesto like mustard on sandwiches or use it as a pasta sauce or base for your next pizza.
Makes about ½ cup.
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 cups, tightly packed, parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon, tightly packed, mint leaves, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
6 TB freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper (optional)
In a food processor, drop in the garlic and turn on. When the garlic is chopped and sticking to the sides of the bowl, stop. Scrape the garlic down into the bowl. Next, add the parsley and mint, processing until finely chopped. With the food processor on, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cheese. Pulse to combine.