This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada; and an integral part of giving thanks, for me, means spending time with those that I love, which necessitates a lot of eating and drinking. It’s no secret that people gather around food and drink and use it as a measure to share love, as sharing meals and sharing love have often gone hand in hand; and this thanksgiving was no different.

With many of my close friends in from out of town, the responsibility of showing them a good time was one I did not take lightly. We ate, we drank and gave thanks for one another with many (many toasts); which was then followed by the traditional Thanksgiving feast at my grandmother’s house. Where once again we gave thanks for one another over food and drink; and as thankful as I am for all the people in my life, I am ever so thankful for the return of less lenient nutritional behavior.

Enter Gremolata Parsley Sauce.

Now, if you’ve ever chewed on parsley to freshen your breath, then you know firsthand its ability to refresh even the most pungent of mouths; but did you know that parsley has the ability to freshen the whole system? Parsley is known primarily for its detoxification and deodorizing properties; which make this, the world’s most popular herb, perfect for the week after thanksgiving. Parsley’s ability to purify the breath and detoxify the system comes from the same substance that makes it green: chlorophyll. With countless studies confirming the ability of chlorophyll to purify and rejuvenate; and it has been shown to stop bacterial growth in wounds, deodorize, counter toxins, deactivate carcinogens, build blood, renew tissues and counteract inflammations.

There is also some suggestion that the volatile oils in parsley, especially myristicin, may inhibit tumor growth; with umbelliferous vegetables (which include parsley) being among a select group of about a dozen foods with the highest anticancer activity. Ten sprigs of parsley contain 556mcg of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which protect our eyes; as well as 505 mcg of beta carotene, 164 mcg of bone strengthening vitamin K and 84 IU’s of vitamin A.

A New Spin on an Old Favorite

Gremolata parsley sauce is a traditional Mediterranean sauce that is comprised of parsley, lemon and garlic, and as delicious as the conventional rendition is, I opted to boost its already potent nutritional content by adding walnuts. While walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats and also in flavor, I chose them because of their ability to mesh nicely with the bright aromas of this herb-y sauce.

This gremolata parsley sauce is meant to be a garnish; and because this adaptation on the traditional parsley sauce has a toothsome mouth feel, it is best served with an accompaniment that can stand up to it. I served mine on halved zucchini’s that had the centers hallowed out; and I’ve also served as a garnish on halibut- both were showstoppers!

Detoxifies, fights cancer and tastes delicious- you can really have it all.

Gremolata Parsley Sauce

Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup parsley leaves, packed
1/3 cup chives
1/3 cup walnuts, raw
½ tsp chili flakes
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup (or less) olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor and turn on. While the machine is still running slowly add the olive oil until a thick paste is formed- you may not need all the oil, it depends on what consistency you like. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for one week.