With a bright green color and a mild, fresh flavor, Parsley is a must-have for the pantry. Use it to flavor soups, vegetables, sauces, dressings, eggs and any potato dishes.
Botanical name: Petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum
A bright biennial with thin, spindle-shaped roots and grooved angular stems, parsley grows upright and blooms in greenish/yellow flower clusters. There are many varieties of parsley, including Petroselinum crispum (curly-leaf or common parsley), P. crispum var. neapolitanum (Italian or flat-leaf parsley), and P. crispum var. tuberosum, which is grown for its tender, edible root. Italian parsley has stronger flavor than the other varieties. It also grows bigger and ganglier than the curly leafed, reaching three feet compared to the other varieties one foot.
Suggested Uses: It's been said that parsley is to the Western world what cilantro (sometimes called Chinese parsley or Indian parsley) is to the Eastern world. Add directly to your favorite dishes or reconstitute it first by soaking in ice water for 5 to 10 minutes. A staple seasoning, parsley is very popular in Middle Eastern, American, and European cooking. You'll find it in traditional ethnic recipes for hummus, baba ganoush, osso buco (a veal dish from Milan) and tabbouleh, in spice blends like khmeli-suneli, persillade (a French mixture of garlic and parsley) and bouquet garni, and in sauces like German green sauce and French béarnaise. Use parsley in salads and dressings, casseroles, stuffings, sauces and gravies. It adds lovely green color and vegetable aroma and taste to most any savory dish, and is especially good with fish, egg, meat and grain dishes.