Parsley Salad

Parsley salad is a refreshing side dish for summer suppers and picnics. I ate similar herb salads last summer in Lebanon and Syria, sometimes made with a scattering of couscous to make tabbouleh, other times made completely with fresh thyme. The fresh herb earthiness cleans the palate and helps cool you down in hot weather.

I brought this parsley salad on a few picnics this summer, including a Hollywood Bowl picnic a few weeks ago. The parsley salad is flexible enough to be paired with various types of dishes, but is especially fitting with Middle Eastern mezze dishes. Tonight I paired it with hummous, labneh with mint, lavosh baked with zaatar, and marinated olives.

Sometimes I garnish the salad with sumac, a purple spice that tastes like lemon. Today I garnished it with shaved Parmesan, inspired by Deborah Madison’s parsley salad in her Savory Way cookbook.

I usually buy my herbs at my local Arab markets, since the quality is often better. Wherever you find your herbs, be picky about selecting the best bunches.

The leftovers can be easily stirred into a variety of dishes the next day. Tomorrow morning I plan on mincing my leftover parsley salad to fold it into scrambled eggs.

parsley salad recipe

2 bunches flat leaf parsley
juice of half a lemon
few tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
few tablespoons Parmesan (optional)
scattering of sumac (optional)


Wash and dry your parsley. I do this with a salad spinner. Pluck the parsley leaves off the stem, discarding the stems. Pile the leaves in a bowl that is large enough for tossing.

Dress the parsley by squeezing the lemon juice over and drizzling with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, then toss. I admit that I typically eye-ball the amounts here. Adjust for the dressing for balance. Top with Parmesan or sumac if desired, then toss again.

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