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Italian Parsley
Italian Parsley has a slightly peppery taste and is better tasting, in my opinion, than the curly versions seen on buffet serving platters. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and is considered a beneficial medicinal herb as well as a great garnish. Italian Parsley derives it's name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery". And yes, parsley is a relative to celery.

Available year-round.

Selection & Storage
Look for crisp, full, bright-green leaves that smell FRESH. Avoid any bunches that are wilted, yellowed or slimy dark spots... all this indicts mold, old product or poor handling.

If at all possible buy organic Italian Parsley or better yet, grow your own!

When you get your bunch home, rinse it well under cold water and shake dry... or better, give them a spin in a salad spinner to get all the water off. I put the bunch into a plastic bag with the stem side down and add a few drops of water so that the stems can get a drink. Then I fold the bag over so that the stems are inside, but the bag is not sealed. This lets the Italian Parsley breathe and drink in between my cutting portions for recipes.

Preparation
Chopped the leaves or use sprigs to garnish your favorite recipes. Italian Parsley makes simple Italian Pasta or steamed vegetables sing with flavor. I even like adding sprigs to sandwiches like lettuce.


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Vegan Appetizers
Stuffed Artichoke Mushrooms

Try this simple yet elegant appetizer for a party or just because you love mushrooms and artichokes.


Ingredients
15 large white mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon serrano chili, finely diced
3/4 cup drained fresh organic tofu
1 can water packed artichoke hearts, drained
4 slices Alvarado Barley Bread
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons Galaxy Vegan Parmesan Cheese


Tools
heavy-bottomed skillet
cutting board
sharp knife
measuring spoons
measuring cups
mixing bowl
Cuisinart Food Processor
spoon
can opener


Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mushroom Preparation

Twist or cut out the stem from each of the oversized mushrooms.

Place hollowed out mushrooms on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and set aside.

Stuffing Preparation
Artichokes
Open a can of water packed artichoke hearts and drain them on a clean terry kitchen towel.

Onion and Serrano Chili
Finely dice the onion, bell pepper, serrano chili.

Measure olive oil and place into skillet with diced onion and serrano chili.

Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent.

Sprinkle the oregano, sea salt and vegan Parmesan cheese over the skillet contents and remove from heat.

Bread Crumbs
Break up the bread slices and put them into the Cuisinart Food Processor fitted with the knife blade.

Pulse till finely broken.

Finish
Add the mushroom stems and pulse again till finely chopped.

Add the cooked onion, bell pepper and serrano mixture and all the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.


Overly stuff each mushroom with the filling and place each mushroom onto the baking sheet.


Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.


Presentation

Serve as an appetizer or with a salad for a light luncheon.


Betty Morgan, Chez Bettay, the Vegan Gourmet
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"A Vegan Appetizer... Stuffed Artichoke Mushrooms!"

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