Parsley

                                                                       

Parsley (Petroselinum) is a bright green biennial herb, often used as spice. It is common in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Parsley is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although parsley has a milder flavor.

 

Usage

In Central and Eastern Europe and in West Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Green parsley is often used as a garnish. The fresh flavor of the green parsley goes extremely well with potato dishes (french fries, boiled buttered potatoes or mashed potato), with rice dishes (risotto or pilaf), with fish, fried chicken, lamb or goose, steaks, meat or vegetable stews (like beef bourguignon, goulash or chicken paprikash). In Southern and Central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used to flavor stocks, soups, and sauces. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups like chicken soup, green salads or salads like Salade Olivier, on open sandwiches with cold cuts or pÔtÚs. Parsley is a key ingredient in several West Asian salads, e.g., tabbouleh (the national dish of Lebanon, also called terchots by Armenians from Van, historic Armenia). Persillade is mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley in the French cuisine. Gremolata is a traditional accompaniment to the Italian veal stew, ossobuco alla milanese, a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.

Root parsley is very common in Central and Eastern European cuisines, where it is used as soup vegetable in many soups and in most meat or vegetable stews and casseroles.

Cultivation

Parsley's germination is notoriously difficult to achieve. Germination is inconsistent and may require 3-6 weeks.

Furanocoumarins in parsley's seed coat may be responsible for parsley's problematic germination. These compounds may inhibit the germination of other seeds, allowing parsley to compete with nearby plants. However, parsley itself may be affected by the furanocoumarins. Soaking parsley seeds overnight before sowing shortens the germination period.

Parsley grows well in deep pots, which helps accommodate the long taproot. Parsley grown indoors requires at least five hours of sunlight a day.

 

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