MAKES: About 1 cup

TIME: 10 minutes

Simpler, purer, less complex than traditional pesto, parsley pure is to me at least more of a standby. For one thing, you can find decent parsley year-round. For another, it’s a brighter, fresher pure and therefore less specific in its uses. And, as you can see from the variations, it is equally useful with different herbs.

2 cups parsley leaves (thin stems are okay), rinsed and dried

Salt

1/2 clove garlic, or more to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine the parsley with a pinch of salt, the garlic, and about half the oil in a food processor or blender. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and adding the rest of the oil gradually.

Add the vinegar, then a little more oil or some water if you prefer a thinner mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple of days.

Variations

Cilantro Pure, Dill Pure, Basil Pure, or Mint Pure. These are good; cilantro pure is delicious with grilled chicken, mint with lamb, and so on: Substitute any of these herbs (leaves only or very thin stems too) for the parsley.

Chimichurri. Very strong: Use 3 or more cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice, and at least a teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes. Do not refrigerate.

Green Olive Mojo. Caribbean and intense: Reduce the olive oil to 1/4 cup; use 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste, in place of the vinegar. After pureing, use the food processor to pulse in 1 cup pitted green olives; or chop the olives by hand and add them. In any case, do not pure them.