Cooking with Fresh Herbs: Parsley

10 years ago
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Italian Parlsey
The World's Healthiest Foods site claims that parsley is the world's most popular herb, although if your main exposure to it has been as a curly garnish on the side of the plate, you may find that hard to believe. What backs up the claim is the large number of dishes where parsley is used as an ingredient, as well as the many classic sauces like chimichurri, gremolata, salsa verde, and others that make use of parsley. Luckily, parsley is one of the herbs that's fairly inexpensive and available in most any grocery store year round, so if you haven't really experienced all that parsley has to offer up to this point, it's time to expand your parsley experience.

Actually there are two types of parsley which are used as cooking herbs. Curly parsley is the type often used as a plate garnish, and obviously it has curly leaves. Flat-leaf or Italian parsley has a slightly stronger flavor, and it's preferred by many cooks. I have both types in my herb garden, and truly I believe they can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Maybe I'll lose my foodie credibility for saying this, but I honestly prefer the curly type in some recipes like Tabbouleh where the parsley is a major part of the dish. On the other hand, if I was making a sauce with parsley in it, I'd be more likely to use the flat type which is easier to chop up very finely. Whatever you do, don't stress about which type to use, although it might be fun to try both and see which one you prefer.

Parsley is easy to grow from seed, but you have to be patient! The seeds take a long time to sprout, although soaking them overnight before you plant will help. Once it's growing, parsley is technically a biennial (which means it comes back for only one year) but if you let some of the parsley go to seed at the end of the season, it will drop the seeds and you'll have parsley growing in that spot for ages. However, during the season when you want the parsley to keep producing new shoots it is important to keep it trimmed, because once it goes to seed the plant stops producing.

I'm a huge parsley fan, and in the recipes I found, there are some very traditional dishes made with parsley, as well as some interesting new ideas. I'm also focusing on recipes where parsley is a major component, not things where it's just sprinkled on for a garnish. If you have a favorite way to use parsley, please share your recipe or a link in the comments.

Basic Parsley Knowledge
About Parsley (and links to many recipes for famous sauces using parsley) from The Perfect Pantry
How to Store Parsley from Simply Recipes

The Most Famous Parsley Salad: Tabbouleh, Tabbouli, or Tabboulli?
Making Tabbouleh from Desert Candy
Turkish Tabbouleh from Almost Turkish Recipes
Pesto Tabouli from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Tabbouleh with Heirloom Tomatoes and Shiso from Just Hungry
Beetroot Tabouli from The Laughing Gastronome
Chicken Tabouli Salad from Dani Spies
Couscous Tabbouleh from Once Upon a Feast
No-Cook Tabbouleh from A Veggie Venture

Other Salads with Parsley
Kiflinger Potato Salad with Parsley Pesto and Chorizo from Cook (almost) Anything
Cauliflower, Walnut, and Parsley Salad from Lucullian Delights
Parsley and Thyme Potato Salad from Eat Like a Girl
New Potatoes and Parsley Salad from HomemadeS
White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley from Kalyn's Kitchen
Alton Brown's Parsley Salad from A Fridge Full of Food
Garbanzo and Tuna Salad with Parsley and Red Pepper from Kalyn's Kitchen
Salad of Parsley, Capers, Black Olives, and Tomatoes from Bear Necessities
Chickpea Salad with Four Minute Eggs and Parsley from The Wednesday Chef
Celery, Fennel, and Parsley Salad from Cookthink
Navy Bean and Parsley Salad from Seasonal Ontario Food

Parsley in Pesto
Parsley Pesto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Elana's Pantry
Winter Pesto with Parsley and Almonds from Orangette
Parsley Pesto from Erin's Kitchen
Parsley Pesto on Asparagus from Closet Cooking
Creamy Walnut and Parsley Pesto from A Wee Bit of Cooking
Chicken Greek-a-Tikka Salad with Parsley Feta Pesto from The Savory Notebook

Parsley in Sauces or Salad Dressings
Salsa Verde (Italian Green Sauce) from Lucullian Delights
Parsley Plus Garlic = Persillade from The Food Section
Parmesan Parsley Dressing from Canela & Comino
Parsley Anchovy Sauce (Salsa Verde) from Kitchen Unplugged
Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce from Fresh Approach Cooking
Traditional Chimichurri Sauce from A Fridge Full of Food
Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce from Champaign Taste
Grilling and Chimichurri Times Two from Once Upon a Feast
Seared Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce from Amuse Bouche
How to Make Gremolata (and lots of links to recipes using gremolata) from Becks and Posh
Gremolata Meatballs from Cooking with Amy
Chermoula from Chocolate and Zucchini

Dishes with Parsley as a Do-Not-Leave-Out Ingredient
Artichokes Stuffed with Shrimp from What Did You Eat
Meatballs with Parsley and Parmesan from What Did You Eat
Pasta with Parsley, Capers, and Onions from The Well Seasoned Cook
Red Snapper with Organic Parsley-Almond Pesto from Organic To-Be
Rib Steaks with Parsley and Crouton Salad from The Wednesday Chef
Parsley and Red Onion Omelet from One Hot Stove
Smoked Ham with a Fresh Parsley Sauce from The Cottage Smallholder
Shrimp and Parsley Frittata from Taste and Tell

There are so many more dishes or sauces using parsley, but I'm out of time for today. You can find more recipes with parsley, parsley salads, or parsley sauce by using Food Blog Search.

You can use the tag Cooking with Fresh Herbs to find all the herb posts in this series.

Blogher Food and Drink Contributing Editor Kalyn Denny also blogs at Kalyn's Kitchen where she loves her parsley. Kalyn would have a hard time choosing her favorite parsley recipe, but Carrot and Parsley Salad would definitely be on the list.

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