Of Note: Fergus Henderson, on the Virtues of Curly Parsley

*Dear readers, I have started a pen-pal type of newsletter called Of Note, in which I share a few items of interest about once a month. I'll be sharing notes and thoughts about some of my favourite food people, swoony kitchen moments and gleeful "isn't this great?!" gushes about movie dining scenes and hypothetical menus alike. Here's a sample from Of Note Issue #1 - if you dig it, please consider subscribing here

"As the swish, swish, swish of bunches of flat Italian parsley is to be heard in kitchens across the land, it seems time to celebrate the strength and character of the indigenous curly parsley. Its expression of chlorophyll and well being, strong flavour, slightly prickly texture, and its structural abilities enable such [fine] things as Parsley Sauce."

"Curly parsley?" I hear you ask, "Really?" 

"Oh yes," is my reply, a slight fever in my eyes, "Absolutely 100 + fire-emoji affirmative, and here, dear friend, is why..."

You will likely know of Fergus Henderson, British pioneer of nose-to-tail cooking, champion of the much loved and replicated dish of Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad. In this glorious age of Instagram omniscience, where you and I can experience a riot of the new, a constant stream of what's hot & trending & nextnextnext, Fergus, and the talented teams of his St. John restaurants, are a great reminder that quiet confidence takes strength too. 

Curly parsley, the St. John cooks say, you're assertive and prickly and not as easily loveable as your affable, swishy cousin. And that's ok; when you're in the mix, in the lively Green Sauce* that brings balance to our dishes of Butterbeans and Grilled Kid Liver; as the front-and-center star in the Parsley Sauce necessary to emphasize the Britishness of our platter of Boiled Ham, you shine for those very reasons. Curly parsley, the cooks tell us, you are forward and unapologetic and almost too much of a good thing, and we like you just the way you are. 

I make the Green Sauce from Henderson's The Whole Beast cookbook in some variation or another quite often. It brightens up my plates and uses up all the herb bundles I can't help but keep bringing home. I'm pleased to present my own illustrated version of the recipe if you're interested in giving our underappreciated friend another try:

*See Green Sauce feat. ol' Curly in action over at St. John Restaurant's feed here and here, and while you're there, please enjoy what I think might just be the best food caption writing on the interwebs. 
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