Why Bother with Parsley?

If you think of parsley as a flavorless garnish that does little more than brighten up a plate, you're missing out, say Chowhounds. "I find it herby, kind of peppery," says Krislady. "I don't know that I care for it on its own, but as part of the whole, it lends a fresh, green (in a good way!) flavor. I love a handful, chopped finely, in meatballs, myself." Most hounds feel that flat-leaf parsley (also known as Italian parsley) has lots more flavor than the curly variety.

"Flat leaf parsley is a major herb in Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, and Lebanese cuisine," says luckyfatima. "In Levantine cuisine you have tabbouleh, of course, but also parsley in kebabs, chopped meat preparations, and used as a garnish cum seasoning in many, many dishes. In that region, parsley is a seasoning that is just as important as lemon juice." Flat-leaf parsley "is an essential herb for me, both as garnish and ingredient for Italian and other Mediterranean foods, grain salads, etc.," says jen kalb.

Parsley has a starring role in several versatile, flavorful condiments, such as Argentine chimichurri sauce and Italian salsa verde. alkapal makes a paste of parsley and other fresh herbs with garlic and anchovies or capers and a bit of extra virgin olive oil, which she swirls into soup, tosses with pasta, or uses to dress sandwiches.

CHOW's Fennel, Parsley, and Celery Salad is dressed with a vinaigrette flavored with preserved lemons and bitters.

Discuss: Parsley – what good is it?

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