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Aug 23, 2010 12:41 AM

Parsley - what good is it?

It tastes like nothing to me. Kind of green and grassy if anything.

What is it supposed to add to a dish, given that it seems to be tasteless? at least to me . . .

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  1. Are you using fresh or dried parsley? You've just described dried parsley perfectly!

    Fresh, though, that's a whole different story - I find it herby, kind of peppery. 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.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Krislady

      I'm with you. This is like asking what good "air" is. It just is!

      I use a lot of parsley in my cooking.

        1. re: Krislady

          I like using parsley, but waste an awful lot of those big bunches. I've found Freeze-Dried containers kept in the fridge or freezer is a perfect substitute. Never would know the difference,

          1. re: Krislady


            I eat it like celery (only no cream cheese in the little tiny stem ridge)

            1. re: Krislady

              I'm eating fresh organic parsley for apigenin and it tastes like diesel smells!

            2. fresh or dried, try using it in stock with lemon rind and various fungi - you'll be surprised at the fragrance it will impart.

              1. Wonderful taste say in tabbouleh, where it forms the main flavouring.

                Also, a classic sauce for fish or ham.

                Excellent "fresh" garnish for plain cooked potatoes.

                Finely chopped with garlic and lemon zest, you've got the Italian gremolata (great as a topping for fish, IMO).

                17 Replies
                1. re: Harters

                  Right. Flat leaf parsley is a major herb in Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, and Lebanese cuisine. I am not sure how much it is used in other Near Eastern or Mediterranean cuisines, such as other nearby Arabic, or Israeli, or Greek cuisine...maybe someone else could confirm if parsley is used prolifically in any cuisines near to the Levant with which I am less familiar. Also, it is my impression that Italians use a lot of parsley. But in Levantine cuisine you have tabbouleh of course, but also parsley in kababs, chopped meat preparations, and also 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.

                  I can taste parsley.

                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    As with any food, it's used extensively where it's grown. And as it's a plant suited to temperate climates, you'll find it all the way from the Med to northern Europe (as in the sauce for fish & ham I mention)

                    1. re: luckyfatima

                      "Italian" or flat leaf parsley is the only kind I can fact, I like it a lot. The curly stuff is nice on a place as a garnish, but not to eat. It has no taste.

                      I use it in making my Paula Wolfert Middle-Eastern Breakfast Burrito - flat bread folded around a mix of feta, chopped flat-leaf parsley, cukes, tomatoes, red peppers, green onions and anything else you want to toss into the mix. Olive oil is poured over and mixed in and a scoop is delicious in flat bread. We have it for breakfast several times a week during the good veg season.

                      1. re: oakjoan

                        I bite on curly parsley rarely but I can for sure taste a taste of parsley.
                        Hum, maybe my tastebuds are off kilter.......

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          Gosh that sounds great oakjoan! I must give that ME burrito a try .

                          1. re: luckyfatima

                            Yeah, that's one of the many reasons I love P. Wolfert.

                          2. re: oakjoan

                            oakjoan, i read your post earlier so I made this for lunch. It was just delicious, so fresh and flavorful. I squeezed on some fresh lemon and will add kalamata olives when I have it again for breakfast tomorrow. Great recipe, thank you!

                          3. re: luckyfatima

                            Armenian (Anatolian) cuisine has a number of dishes that rely on it heavily. My favorite is Sou Boereg, which is basically like a lasagna that's baked until crispy on top, with a filling consisting of a large amount of parsley, cheese (I use muenster), and eggs. The cooked parsley flavor in this amazing.

                            1. re: nsenada

                              Have a recipe to share, perchance? Sounds great.

                              1. re: nsenada

                                nsenada, that's a really interesting combination. does armenian cuisine use lots of parsley? also, instead of muenster (which i assume is a substitute), what would be the "authentic" cheese in the dish?

                                hey, look at this! nsenada, it CITES your chowhound thread!


                                Boeregs are a popular snack and fast food, often served as appetizer. These are savory pies made with phyllo pastry and stuffed with cheese ("banirov boereg", from Armenian: "banir" for cheese) or spinach (similar to spanakopita in Greek cuisine). "Sou boereg" ("su boeregi", or "water burek", in Turkish cuisine) is a lasagna-style dish with sheets of phyllo pastry briefly boiled in a large pan before being spread with fillings. ["Sou boereg" recipe on [ ChowHound] ] "Misov boereg" is a bread roll (not phyllo pastry) stuffed with ground meat (similar to Russian pirozhki). "Tepsi boereg".Fact|date=August 2008""

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  On the parsley, yes, my grandma had tons of it growing, and it seemed to be in everything, mixed with bulghur, in yoghurt and chicken stock soups, losh kebab, etc. There is some variation in Armenian cuisine, and what I'm familiar with comes out of Anatolia, or Eastern Turkey, and seemed to be very meat and dairy centric. Hummus was not really eaten, and looked upon as "Syrian," though we called pita bread "Syrian bread," non-pejoratively. I'd really like to research where the cuisine came from originally, some of the dishes are no doubt ancient.

                                  On the cheese front, I suspect it was muenster because my grandmother got a tremendous deal from the supermarket on the 2-ton block. I remember finding out the name of the "authentic" cheese at one point, but haven't delved into it too far - the dish is such a pain in the $&^ to make that if it wasn't as good, I'd be pretty ticked off.

                                  1. re: nsenada

                                    it looked like amazon has several books on armenian cuisine.....

                                    that link i posted has some info on influences on the cuisine.

                                  2. re: alkapal

                                    Awesome - chowhound is a primary source now! One of these days I'm going to see if I can get into that Schlesinger library at Harvard and see if they have any good materials on this.

                                    1. re: nsenada

                                      you might post a new thread asking about resources in print and online for your quest re armenian cuisine.

                                      i recall a thread way back that had some great tips on accessing online databases for food/cuisine.

                                2. re: luckyfatima

                                  I can taste parsley as long as it's flat-leaf. I don't think the curly stuff has any taste at all, and I NEVER buy it.

                                3. re: Harters

                                  On potatoes: especially with butter and lemon juice.

                                4. chimichurri!

                                  italian salsa verde

                                  "garden" gazpacho

                                  i always have italian parsley in the fridge, for the things i've mentioned, and to garnish eggs, chicken, many things.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    a quick chopped handful thrown onto a plate of pasta as it is being served, or into a soup, are also great ways to add some bright flavor to a dish. like you, we use it often with eggs as well

                                    fresh and flat (Italian) is the good stuff

                                    1. re: Cachetes

                                      right, pasta! it always brightens up the dish. the vegetal "greenness" gives a nice contrast to the pasta's starch, and the oil or other dressing.

                                      i like to puree it with other herbs, garlic, and anchovies, capers or whatever, plus a little EVOO, and stir into soups or plain pasta. the herb paste is also nice on a sandwich, for blander meats like turkey.

                                      i also make a parsley herb-spice paste to blend into meat that i use for kabobs. essential!!!!

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        I love the idea of making my own herb paste just to keep around for when called for- I'll have to give it a try!

                                        1. re: Cachetes

                                          it'll last a couple of days, with olive oil on top, esp.

                                          it is better just to make a small batch for freshness.

                                      2. re: Cachetes

                                        I had none in the house recently when I made carbonara. It suffered from the lack. It just adds a freshness, another note of flavor.

                                      3. re: alkapal

                                        +1 for fresh chimichurri, a very versatile and flavorful condiment

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          ok, I'll give you a yes to chimichurri.
                                          that stuff is the bom I admit.

                                          and also, I use the dried in meatballs but honestly don't know why, it just seems right to put it in there. {?}

                                        2. What GOOD is it? Here's some nutritional info' in case it's of any interest...parsley
                                          is a powerhouse of nutrients and an anticancer food:

                                          I've been adding it to salads, smoothies, everything!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Val

                                            nice post there! along with being tasty and healthful, parsley is also great for dinner dates when you forgot the binaca or listerine and are about to kiss goodnight. because of it's NATURAL antiseptic qualities, you can use it on wounds and open cuts or in a poultice.

                                            1. re: Val

                                              Yes, it is actually incredibly healthy and many juice & drink it like wheatgrass.

                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                my big sister has girly problems, has all her life, and her doctor has had her own parsley tea for 40 years, says it's very good for her, simply boils bushels of parsley in water, then drinks like tea