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What if “being like parsley” was a compliment? Let’s make it the protagonist of our recipes

VSwas once the parsley… In combination with oil, butter or garlic. With meat and fish. On the first and second courses. This herb is typically used in many Mediterranean recipes, and can be used fresh or dried (found on supermarket shelves near spices). Parsley, you know, looks good almost everywhere but it doesn’t always manage to stand out in blending the flavors of a rich dish. “You are like parsley! »actually, it’s not a big compliment: it’s used in reference to a person who is a bit “in the middle of the boxes”.

And then there is the saying “You’re like parsley in meatballs”that’s to say “You have no sense”. It’s because the ingredient it wants to be a seasoning, in this recipe it is not very relevant, it never has a real leading role. Or at least not until today.

Often little considered, often “intimidated” and ignored: but do you really know parsley? Here are some curiosities about this plant that few people know about. Parsley owes its name to the Greek term petroselinona word that comes from petra (stone) + selinon (celery). The name of this ingredient therefore means “celery growing on stones”.

(Photo Michelle Aleksa)

It’s a biennial plant, a shrub that completes its biological life cycle in 24 months. During the first year, it produces leaves, stems and roots; in the second, it produces flowers, fruits and seeds. The parsley is thick not recommended during pregnancy because it contains the myristicin – a substance which, taken in excessive doses, can cause premature uterine contractions.

If purchased fresh, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. To keep it fresh longer, it is advisable put the rods in water leaving a cork float inside. Consuming a leaf of raw parsley is a great help for people with halitosisand to refresh the mouth after eating very persistent foods such as garlic and onion.

If I told you that parsley has also conquered a place of honor in one of the cuisines – indeed the most important cuisine in Italy, you would give it another chance? I refer to open ravioli from Gualtiero Marchesi. The founding father of gastronomy in Italy. The first to obtain three Michelin stars in our country (in 1986). “Il Maestro” – as he was called – was the forerunner of a culinary movement that changed Italian cuisine forever, and mentored a generation of starred chefs who still perpetuate his culinary elegance today. and all the taste of Italian cuisine. .

Gualtiero Marchesi with its open ravioli

(Photo Andrea Delbo)

Marchesi invented, in 1982, the emblematic dish prepared with two layers of fresh pasta, stuffed with scallops and fillets of sole. A revolution of the classic ravioli concept, with a green leaf of spinach on the bottom, covered for the moment with the “garnish” and a white leaf engraved with a parsley leaf to close the plate. To create the filling, Maestro Marchesi placed a whole leaf of parsley between two layers of dough, which was then worked with a rolling pin until the correct thickness was achieved.

The origins of the name of this sauce born in Argentina and spread throughout Latin America are attributed to an Irish soldier – a certain Jimmy McCurry – who particularly loved the cause of the independence of the Argentine people. Parsley, garlic and chilli are the basis of the recipe which is somewhat reminiscent of our green sauce, to combine with grilled pieces of meat (Argentina, of course). The Chimichurri it can also be accompanied by fish and other dishes, such as the famous choripan – a stuffed sandwich sausage (a sausage, usually made from beef and pork spiced with paprika, typical of the Iberian Peninsula and a legacy of Spanish colonialism, including precisely in Argentina).

Meat with chimichurri sauce

(Photo FoodAndPhoto)

Ingredients: 15g fresh parsley, 3 garlic cloves, 2 small dried chillies, 2 tbsp dried oregano, 2 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp fine salt , 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 60 g of water, 40 g of extra virgin olive oil, 20 g of white wine vinegar.

Method: in a bowl, combine all the dry spices, including the crumbled pepper. Wash and dry the fresh parsley and add only the leaves to the other spices. Add the crushed garlic, salt and pepper, then the liquids: water, vinegar and finally the oil. Stir with a spoon and let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Chlorophyll is the green pigment present in plants and algae, it is responsible for the coloring of products. In the kitchen, thanks to modern techniques perfected over time by great chefs, it is possible to extract this pigment and use it to color fresh pasta or creams, or to cream a risotto. A recipe, that of creating parsley chlorophyll, which seems elaborate for the large number of steps, but which is actually simple if all the steps are followed to the letter. Here we use parsley, but the same procedure also applies to basilfor the rocket salad they or they spinach.

parsley chlorophyll

(Photo Studio Jad)

Ingredients: 300 g of water for 100 g of washed and cleaned parsley leaves

Method: put the parsley leaves in a blender with water and turn on the machine at half power. Leave on for some time, to be able to extract the liquid from the leaves. Remove the foam that will form on the surface with a spoon and filter with a strainer.

In a saucepan, put the liquid obtained over medium heat and let it heat up to a temperature of 64°. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, no problem: by stirring with a spoon you will notice the separation between the clot (what remains of the fiber) and the water. Separately, prepare a bowl with ice cream on which to place an empty bowl. Pour the green liquid through a linen or cotton towel. The “cold” passage allows the preparation to retain its bright green color, without oxidizing. After removing most of the water, you can fill ice molds to have chlorophyll always on hand. Store in the freezer or use within a few days.

Variety of parsley consisting of a large root – similar to a turnip – and a short stem with few leaves. This aromatic plant is not cultivated for its leaves but for its fruit, a root with white flesh very similar to parsnip. Parsley root is prepared raw, for example in salads or pinzimonio, but it is also suitable for frying, boiling and preparing vegetable puree. Today we are preparing a velvety soupexcellent for the first chills of this crazy month of September.

Ingredients: 300 g of white onion, 500 g of parsley root, 25 g of parsley, 50 g of chopped hazelnuts, 800 ml of vegetable stock, 10 g of butter and 40 ml of cooking cream.

Method: Fry the onions in butter, add the parsley root and broth and boil until cooked. Mix well and add a drop of cream to make it softer. Wash the parsley leaves and blanch them in water for a few minutes, cool quickly in water and ice (to keep the color alive) and mix with a few tablespoons of water if necessary. And now the dish: the parsley root soup, a few drops of green parsley sauce (which also gives a chromatic contrast) and finally the chopped hazelnuts previously roasted in the pan.

The next time you want to give some “parsley” to one of your nosy friends, think about it: are you sure it can’t be a compliment?

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