Mother Earth Living

In the Garden

Get down and dirty in the garden

October in Texas: Try Parsley-Infused Recipes

10/19/2010 10:25:37 AM

Tags: Jessy Rushing, Parsley, Texas, Fall, Rice Pilaf, Butter, Recipe

J.RushingJessy Rushing is a Texas gardener who fell in love with herbs after tripping into a rosemary shrub one day. The scent on her clothes cheered her up all afternoon. Her curiosity was aroused and since then her herb gardening has been part investigation, part experimentation and most importantly, part delight. 

How could I not love October? After triple digit heat, October is like cool silk on my skin. The air is soft, cool and breezy. Herbal fragrances waft from our young garden and all is serene. We’ve been in the house a year, working one patch of earth at a time. All the composting and pestering neighbors for advice is paying off. The soil is rich, warm and crumbly, a far cry from the native black gumbo clay. I set a little herb garden by the backdoor where I could snip chives, basil or rosemary for a recipe. Let me be honest—I’m not a very good cook—ask anyone I know about my famous fried cookies. But I love growing herbs and I’m open to new recipes.

10-19-2010-1
Parsley is a cool season herb.
Photo by
Jessy Rushing 

October in Texas is an open invitation to plant cool season herbs. Flat leaf, or Italian parsley, is one of my favorites. Even a cook with a questionable reputation can make a tasty dish with this useful herb. Not only is it pretty in the garden, it’s full of vitamins A and C, potassium and antioxidants. Plant plenty because beneficial insects like parsley when it bolts and it’s a host plant for black swallowtail butterfly larvae.

Parsley is a biennial that is usually treated like an annual. In warm climates, it’s a cool season annual. I plant some in fall and early spring. My luck with seeds has been iffy, but if you’re the patient type, plant seeds 1/4-inch deep in fine soil and they should sprout in 2 to 3 weeks. To keep Italian parsley after it's harvested, wrap in damp paper towels and snuggle in plastic bags. It’ll last 4 to 5 days in the fridge. To keep fresh parsley longer, chop it up, place in small, clean jar (baby food jars are perfect), cover with good quality olive oil and it’ll be ready to use in sauces.

Parsley Butter 

Try this Parsley Butter on grilled fish (we love it on salmon) or spread on hot, crusty bread.

• 4 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
• 4 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley (or more, to taste)
• 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced (this is optional)

1. Mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours for flavors to mix well.

10-19-2010-2 
Try fresh parsley in this delicious Cranberry Rice Pilaf.
Photo by Jessy Rushing
 

Cranberry Rice Pilaf 

With the holidays upon us, here’s a great Cranberry Rice Pilaf recipe.

• 1 bag of boil-in-bag brown rice
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 to 2 clove garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup chopped scallions (You know I substitute green onions!)
• 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
• 3/4 cup dried cranberries
• 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
• Chopped pecans, for garnish

1. Cook rice according to directions. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat. 

2. Add garlic, onions and mushrooms; saute for 3 minutes. 

3. Reduce heat to low and add rice, cranberries and parsley. Cook 4 to 5 minutes more.

4. Sprinkle a handful of chopped pecans on top for some added crunch.

Savor each day of October. It’ll be gone quickly without fanfare, a dim memory during the winter to come. Keep your eyes open to the beauty that surrounds us, often in unexpected places. On a trip to Austin to visit our son we came across the Spider House, a coffee house near the University of Texas. The evening was sultry, the air heavy with the whirr of cicadas, so we had our cappuccinos outside, in the backyard of what had once been someone’s home. Metal chairs that I remember from childhood turned the yard into an eclectic group of seating areas. Gaily colored lights snaked up tree trunks and through limbs so that if you looked up, the stars themselves seemed to be twinkling in primary colors.

I shamelessly copied the Spider House on a smaller scale. Tiny lights twine around the rails of my patio and I scour garage sales, antique and junk shops for the metal garden chairs of long ago.  They’re still as comfortable as I remember.

Make time to relax outside this evening and enjoy your cool season herbs. Whether it’s an apartment balcony, farm pasture or backyard patio, October’s beauty is free for the taking.

10-19-2010-3 
Take a moment to enjoy the October air.
Photo by Jessy Rushing 

“The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
One’s nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth”
—Dorothy Frances Gurney
 



Related Content

Growing Herbs in Texas: Spring Gardening Update

In Texas, it has warmed up considerably, it's had plenty of rain and, best of all, the gardens are f...

An Herbal Thanksgiving Tale

Learn how the Lemon Verbena Lady met her husband at Thanksgiving, along with delicious recipes.

What is Herbes de Provence?

One blogger shares her investigation of an elusive culinary herbal blend.

Spring Garden Tips: 3 Springtime Recipes

The Lemon Verbena Lady is happily finding herbs in her spring herb garden while she remembers favori...

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 50%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.