Cooking with Parsley: Pear Salsa

This herb is more than just a frill.

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Yields 2 ½ cups

Serve this flavorful condiment with roasted or grilled poultry. The parsley serves as a liaison between the sweet fruitiness of the pears and the savory flavor of the meat.

• 3 tablespoons water
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 to 4 tablespoons rice wine or cider ­vinegar"
• 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 4 large, juicy pears, preferably Anjou or Comice
• ½ to 1 cup chopped flat-leaved parsley

1. Place the water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and the smaller amounts of vinegar and granulated sugar in a saucepan. Cover and cook over high heat until the sugars dissolve.

2. Quarter and core the pears and add them to the syrup. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes, or until the fruit is soft.

3. Place the smaller quantity of parsley in a blender container, add the pears and syrup, then puree. Adjust the seasoning with more vinegar, sugar, and/or parsley. Swirl to mix.

4. Transfer the salsa to a glass con­tainer,­ cover and store in the refrigerator for as long as three days. Serve cold or lukewarm.

Cornelia Carlson, an inveterate herb gardener, has a Ph.D. in biochemistry. She is the author of The Practically Meatless Gourmet (Berkley, 1996) and a contributor to Nutrition Secrets of the Ancients (Prima, 1996).

Click here for the original recipe, Cooking with Parsley.