About parsley Edit
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a bright green, biennial herb that is very common in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. It is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although it has a milder flavor.
In parts of Europe, and particularly in West Asia, many foods are served with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. The fresh flavor of parsley goes extremely well with fish. Parsley is essential to several West Asian salads, e.g., tabbouleh which is the national dish of Lebanon. In Southern and Central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used to flavor stocks, soups and sauces. Additionally, parsley is often used as a garnish.
Parsley is valued as a breath-freshener, due to its high concentration of chlorophyll and is believed to purify the blood. Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: flat leaf and curly leaf.
Flat-leaf parsley Edit
Flat-leaf parsley is typically used in Romanian cuisine. Many people think flat-leaf, or Italian parsley has a stronger flavor, and this opinion is backed by chemical analysis which finds much higher levels of essential oil in the flat-leaved cultivars. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol.
Curly leaf parsley Edit
Curly leaf parsley can be used as a substitute, but is less authentic.
Parsley root Edit
Parsley root is a variety of parsley grown specifically for the root, rather than the leaves. Parsley root is known by a number of names, including Hamburg parsley, Dutch parsley, rock selinen, rock parsley, padrushka, turnip-rooted parsley, heimischer, and parsnip-rooted parsley.
When selecting, choose fresh looking bunches that are bright green in color. To store, rinse under cold water and shake off excess water, wrap in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate up to a week. To chop fresh parsley, hold the stems and gather leaves into a tight, dense bunch. Using a sharp knife, cut across the gathered bunch to chop coarsely. When all the leaves have been chopped, discard the stems. To mince coarsely chopped leaves, use a sharp knife blade and with a rocking motion, cut back and forth across the leaves until they have been cut to the desired fineness.