Originated in the East Mediterranean, parsley is an aromatic herb that comes with different species and has a 2-year lifespan. Today, it is widely cultivated in temperate climates.
It comes with many varieties from flat-leaf to curly leaf and ones with various levels of aromatic sharpness. Overall, its leaves look like celery leaves. Even though mostly its fresh leaves are used for cooking, its stems have a sharp aroma and provide good flavor especially to meat, chicken and vegetable broths. In addition, in many places around Europe, especially in Germany, a different variety is cultivated for its root that looks like a mix of radish and turnip.
It has a rich and herby taste that has a slight anise and lemon flavor in the background and a slight pepper note. It unfolds and enriches the aromas of the spices with which it is used.
It works well with many dishes, salads and mezzes. It might be added into or sprinkled on meat, chicken or fish dishes during or after cooking. It complements almost all vegetable dishes. It blends well with tomato and egg. It is a must for salads prepared with bulgur such as kısır (bulgur salad), lentil balls and tabule.
You can use parsley especially in soups, bulgur pilaf, omelets, sautéed vegetables and vegetable puree.
You can keep fresh parsley in fridge in plastic bags for 4-5 days. Growing your own parsley in flowerpots is also a good method if you want to use fresh parsley. You can chop and put leftover parsley in bags and keep it in the fridge to use it later.
Parsley can also be bought and consumed as dried. Keep dried parsley in airtight glass jars so that it would conserve its aroma for a long time.
If you want to use dried parsley in recipes instead of fresh one, use 1 teaspoon dried parsley for 1 dessertspoon fresh parsley.
Melt 3-tablespoon butter, add 1 teaspoon dried parsley and slightly stir. Slightly pour your parsley-butter mix over sautéed vegetables, fish or noodles. You will have a slightly different taste.
Here is a tasty sauce for chicken marinade that you can prepare with dried parsley. Mix 2 teaspoon dried parsley with 1-teaspoon garlic powder, 1-teaspoon thyme, half-teaspoon black pepper, 1-teaspoon salt and 2-tablespoon olive oil. Put chopped chicken breast or thigh in a bowl and mix thoroughly with the mixture you prepared. Keep it covered in fridge for 1 hour and roast until golden brown in an oven or grill.
Cut parsley stems with a sharper aroma, tie them with a kitchen string and make a small bunch. Use it in broth, chicken broth and vegetable juice; slow cooked meat dishes and stews. It will enrich the aroma of your dish. When cooking time is up, don’t forget to take stems out of the pot.
Mix finely chopped garlic with parsley leaves and grated lemon peel together. Sprinkle the mixture on slow cooked meat dishes, grilled meat, chicken or parsley. You will have a freshening flavor.