Robust with a fresh green flavor, parsley is probably the most well known of all of the fresh culinary herbs. It adds balance and beautiful color to an assortment of dishes including salads like Grapefruit and Beet Salad, salad dressings, marinades, sauces, soups, stews, casseroles, quiches and omelets like Cauliflower and Parsley Omelet. You can even drink it as a lovely tea or add it to juices and other beverages.
Although it’s available dried, there’s something refreshing about using fresh parsley — even for making tea. You can choose between Italian (aka flat leaf) parsley and the more common curly parsley. They’re used interchangeably, but curly parsley is milder in flavor, so it works well as a raw garnish or added to a meal at the end of cooking. Italian parsley, on the other hand, is wonderful for slow cooking and simmering. It’s also used more often in soups and stews. Fresh parsley is available year round.
Here are some ideas for cooking with parsley:
Add chopped parsley to cottage cheese with garlic, chives, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Parsley is also delicious added to goat and ricotta cheeses.
Use parsley as a garnish for grains, eggs, soups, stews, bisques, chilies, roasted and grilled meats, and vegetable salads. Don’t be shy about garnishing a luscious fruit salad with vibrant green parsley!
Chickpea Soup with Saffron and Mushroom-Almond Garnish is delicious with saffron and almonds.
Parsley is especially popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Tabouli and stuffed grape leaves, tomato parsley salad and baba ganoush all come to mind. Citrus-Marinated Grilled Salmon with Tabbouleh Salad is a crowd pleaser, and Mediterranean Veggie Burgers are made with kale, roasted red peppers and Kalamata olives.
Purple Barley Tabouli is made with scallions, tomatoes, olive oil, parsley and mint.
Toss parsley into hot pasta, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant parmesan and pizza. Or use as a garnish.
Mix parsley into potato salad or garnish sautéed, roasted and mashed potatoes. French fries and sweet potato fries are great when garnished with parsley.
Parsley is a must for dips, sauces and spreads like hummus, guacamole, pesto, bean dips, cream cheese and sour cream dips.
Fragrant fresh herbs, garlic and tangy vinegar prove a perfect match for slow-cooked brisket in this Roasted Brisket with Parsley, Mint and Thyme recipe.
Add parsley to a variety of vegetable and fruit salsas.
Add chopped parsley to breadcrumbs. Panko Crusted Pork Chops uses parsley and thyme.
Add parsley to your favorite salad dressing.
Add chopped parsley to ground turkey, chicken, lamb or beef burgers. Here’s a recipe for Veal-Parsley Meatballs with Noodles.
Juice fresh parsley along with favorite fruits and vegetables.
Add parsley lemon butter sauce, wine sauce, gravy and more.
Sauté or roast vegetables with parsley.
Make Blue Cheese Herb Popcorn for a snack.
Make fresh parsley tea: Chop 1 tablespoon washed fresh parsley. You can use leaves and stems. Place in a filter or strainer set in a mug or teacup. Add 8 ounces of boiling water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Enjoy plain or with lemon and honey.
Wrap freshly purchased parsley in a paper towel, and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until ready to use. Or trim off the ends of the stems on the diagonal and put them upright in a tall glass with about an inch of water. Cover the bunch loosely with a plastic bag and change the water daily. Fresh parsley should last up to a week when stored properly. Wash it before using. As with all fresh herbs, the sooner you use them, the fresher and better they are.
Do you cook with fresh parsley? What’s your favorite recipe? Let me know.