As the song from Simon and Garfunkel goes, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, over the last few months, I have been looking at the use of herbs. Sometimes we use one of two of these in a recipe but it’s rare they are the main ingredient. Parsley is a great dressing to spruce up a dish when ready, but who makes Parsley Sauce with their fish or gammon like me? I have included Pesto Sauce and Parsley Potatoes recipes which just adds something different to your meal. Sage and Onion stuffing is a favourite, but have you tried Chicken with Apple and Sage? It also works very well with Pork.  

Buen Apetito  

Parsley Sauce

  • 1 oz/25 grams butter
  • 1 oz/25 grams all-purpose flour (approx 3 tbsp plus 2 tsp)
  • 1½ tsp English mustard, optional
  • 1 cup/250 mls milk
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard (if using). Stir thoroughly to form a thick paste. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk and whisk, bringing to the boil and keep whisking to avoid lumps. Should be sauce thickness, but if too thick add a little milk until the right consistency. Add Parsley and season. 

Parsley and Lemon Pesto

  • ½ bunch Parsley, either flat-leaf or curly 
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled 
  • ½ cup stale bread crumbs 
  • 1-2 tblsp lemon juice 
  • 2/3 cup Olive Oil 
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest 
  • A pinch of salt 
  • Black pepper (optional)

If you have a food processor, simply put all the ingredients in it and whizz until a paste has formed. Alternatively, finely chop the Parsley and garlic and mix in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. Use immediately, or to store, pour into a sterile jar and top with a little olive oil to seal. This way it will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Parsley Potatoes

  • 3lb of potatoes (red are best)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp of chopped Parsley
  • 1 tsp salt

Chop potatoes into cubes with skin on, cover with water and add salt.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until cooked. Drain until completely dry and put in bowl. Slice butter and add with Parsley and mix gently until potato is covered. Serve immediately.

Chicken with Apple and Sage

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 apples peeled, cored and cut into thick wedges
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of shallots or onions chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • Knob of butter

Heat oil in a frying pan, pat chicken dry and then cover in salt and pepper. Cook gently for around 10 minutes until chicken is brown after turning. Transfer to plate and drain most of the fat out of the pan. Add butter, brown sugar, shallots and apple to pan and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Add stock, vinegar and Sage and stir. Add chicken back to pan and simmer for 20 minutes with lid or foil on. Serve.   

Butternut Squash Steaks with Sage Sauce

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 Sage leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Cut the butternut squash into steak-size pieces. Heat olive oil in pan and cook squash steaks turning every few minutes until cooked; about 15 minutes. Add butter, Sage and garlic to the pan. Continue cooking steaks basting on both sides (about 1 minute) until butter starts to turn brown. Remove from heat and put steaks on a plate. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste to the sauce. Pour sauce over steaks and serve.