Fiction-Food Café

January 25, 2018

Parsley & Hazelnut Pesto Salad | Rapunzel

(Recipe originally posted January 2015 for Fiction Kitchen Podcast Episode 6.)
     In the German translation of the Rapunzel tale, the mother of Rapunzel craves lettuce and makes a salad of it once obtained. The Italian and French translations of the story say that the desired plant is parsley. This recipe honors various translations with a simple salad of small leafy greens tossed with a parsley pesto, and also nods to Disney's "Tangled" with the hazelnut inclusion, which happens to be a common ingredient in early German cooking. Because rampion, which has a parsnip-like root, is also sometimes connected with this story (the German name for rampion is Rapunzel, btw), I've included an optional addition to the salad of roasted parsnips.
Note: Ladies, if you are pregnant, perhaps do not eat this pesto as it's loaded with parsley. But if you want to regulate your menstruation, this pesto might be helpful. ;)

Parsley & Hazelnut Pesto Salad (w/ Parsnips)

Salad Mix of Small Leafy Greens (I used the Wellness Blend from Taylor Farms Organic)
1 Bunch of Fresh Italian/Flat Leaf Parsley, stemmed (equals about 2 cups of leaves)
3/4 Cup Roasted & Skinned Hazelnuts + a few more, chopped, for salad topping
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp. Minced Garlic (or 2 crushed garlic cloves)
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup Oil + more as needed (I used a combination of hazelnut oil & olive oil)
Roasted Parsnips (optional)
4 Small Parsnips (the smaller ones tend to be sweeter, the larger ones more bitter–especially the cores)
2 Tbsp. Hazelnut Oil (olive oil is fine)
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

If making the roasted parsnips to go on top of the salad, heat your oven to 375ºF & line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the parsnips into french fry-like strips (~ 1/4"x3") & toss them with the oil & maple syrup. Spread them on the tray in a single layer & bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce them.

For the pesto, Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or standing blender & pulse until smooth & vibrant green. Add a little more oil or lemon juice (to taste) if the mixture is too thick/clumpy and pulse again.

Place a handful of salad mix into a serving bowl & toss with about 1/2 a tablespoonful of pesto to evenly coat. Place several roasted parsnip pieces on top if desired, & then sprinkle the salad with chopped hazelnuts.

*For more Rapunzel-inspired food try my Hazelnut & Parsnip soup w/ Hazelnut Crackers!*

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