On this day in history, March, 15th in the year 44 BC, the militant dictator mastermind of ancient Rome, Gaius Julius Caesar, lost his life to conspirators who were against his reign. In his tragedy Julius Caesar, Shakespeare penned the warning “Beware the Ides of March!” from the mouth of a soothsayer, warning Caesar of his assination. He did not take heed. This term is now well known as a foreshadowing of doom.
Here, we choose to look on the bright side of life and honour the Ides of March with an herb once used perhaps in dishes eaten by the ruler himself, (Pre-Ides): Parsley.
Today, we will be cooking with Julius Caesar, his buddy Brutus, and our new panelist, Parsley.
“Veni, vidi, vici.”
Right. Thank you for your profound insight.
Now that our panel has been properly introduced, let’s get started!
Parsley can be traced back about 2000 years, which is right around the time you were dictating, right, Julius?
“Veni, vidi, vici.”
According to this site, “Parsley is a native herb from the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe. The ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. The practice of using parsley as a garnish actually has a long history that can be traced back to the civilization of the ancient Romans.”
So, to celebrate the herb seen, conquered, and eaten by perhaps even Caesar himself, we introduce to you:
Tortiglioni with Parsley and Lemon Olive Oil Emulsion
Adapted from a recipe found on Epicurious.
The pairing of parsley and lemon is not uncommon, and really works together to make this a truly light and refreshing dish. I would imagine, after a long day at war, you might want something on the light side, right Caesar?
Yes, yes, that’s great. So, to make this dish, you need the following:
- 1 pound tortiglioni (or whatever pasta you prefer)
- 1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
- 2 teaspoons packed lemon zest
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- About ½ cup olive oil
To make the Parsley Emulsion:
Process parsley, lemon zest, garlic, pepper and salt in a food processor. Slowly add olive oil and process until well coalesced. Set aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a serving dish. Toss with Parsley emulsion and serve.
“I prefer this dish with diced chicken and basalmic vinegar slashed…er, splashed over top and served with a side of sliced tomatoes.”
Excellent suggestion, sir. Please, can I have my knife back. Thank you.
“Et tu, Brute?”
And so, we conclude tonight’s episode with these final words, to clear things up:
and shook their heads;
but for mine own part, it was Greek to me.”