Parsley root

Other Names: Dutch parsley, German parsley, Hamburg parsley, turnip-rooted parsley.

General Description: Parsley root (Petroselinum crispum radicosum) is a beige, carrotlike root with a flavor somewhat like celery, turnips, and parsley. Parsley root has a long history of use as a winter vegetable in Holland, Germany, and Poland, as is indicated by such names as Hamburg parsley and Dutch parsley. It is often double-rooted and can easily be confused visually with parsnip, its sweet cousin. Parsley root is much used in northern Europe in soups, stews, and as a cooked vegetable. In the U.S., it is most likely to be found in markets with a large Jewish, German, or Polish clientele. The leaves, which may be sold as “soup greens,” are broader than those of curly leaf parsley and can be used for garnishing or chopped as an herb.

Season: Parsley root is in season August through April with heaviest supply at the beginning of January.

Purchase: Buy parsley root with the feathery, bright green leaves attached. The roots should be creamy white and unblemished. Buy parsley roots of the same size, preferably small to medium.

Avoid: Pass up parsley root with wilted greens or withered roots. The leaves should look fresh, not limp.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 2 days. For longer storage, store the roots in paper towels in a plastic bag for 1 week; use the leaves within 1 or 2 days.


  1. Trim the greens off the root.
  2. Wash and dry the greens and reserve for use like regular parsley.
  3. Scrub the roots with a vegetable brush, or peel.

Serving Suggestions: Cook 1 part parsley roots to 3 parts potatoes and mash together. Add parsley root to hearty soups or stews. Make a shredded parsley root and celery root salad.

Flavor Affinities: Barley, beets, cabbage, chicken soup, horseradish, oxtail, root vegetables, shallots, sweet potatoes, thyme.

from Quirk Books: www.quirkbooks.com