Bitter Greens and Herbs

Strong-flavored greens make great salads, and there’s a long tradition of using bitter greens, herbs, and flowers as accompaniments to blander foods. The recipes here build on that concept by combining these pungent power-houses with other ingredients. The results are delicious salads that you can eat by the bowlful.

Parsley and Herb Salad

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: About 20 minutes

The standard Tabbouleh is really a parsley salad with bulgur rather than the other way around, but this is an herb salad in which parsley plays the leading role. I don’t agree that flat-leaf (Italian) parsley tastes better than the curly variety, but don’t make too big a deal about it—it is easier to handle and feels better in the mouth.

You can omit the honey if you like—which will make it a vegan salad—but many people like the way it smooths the parsley’s bitterness.

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

4 cups chopped parsley (or leave flat leaves whole)

1/4 cup minced chives, shallot, or scallion

1 fresh tarragon leaf, minced, or a pinch of dried

Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

01 Toss the thyme, parsley, chives, and tarragon together in a bowl. Combine the lemon juice, oil, honey, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to blend.

02 Dress the salad, then taste and adjust the seasoning as you like. Serve immediately; this salad will not keep.


Lettuce Salad with Parsley. A more familiar but almost equally flavorful version: Use 4 cups mixed tender greens (mesclun or the like) and reduce the parsley to 1 cup. You may need a little more dressing.

Lettuce Salad with Mixed Herbs. With dill, mint, or basil, this is milder and sweeter than the all-parsley version: Use 4 cups of mixed tender greens (mesclun or the like) and, for the parsley, substitute a cup (more or less) of dill, mint, basil, or any combination of those and parsley.