The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

11:50 AM

Food of the week - Parsley Root

Posted by Magic of Spice

Parsley Root

As with most root vegetables, we have to look beyond their outer
image, to see their true beauty.

Parsley root is another winter root vegetable that very much resembles
the parsnip, only smaller and paler. They however, are not the same.
A popular root vegetable in Central Europe that is rare in the States.
However cultivation of these root vegetable are found in a few states
here, including California.

Like it's leafy green counterpart, parsley (grown for its leaves),
parsley root has a long history in medicinal/herbal medicines.
The roots are also very popular in Mediterranean Cuisine,
and grown for the edible root. Of the species Petroselinum
 crispum tuberosum and commonly referred to as
Hamburg Parsley, they are said to be one of the most
nutritious root vegetables, generally having higher
concentrations of vitamins and minerals, than
either the leaves or seeds.

Parsley, the herb is something I am sure you are all familiar with. You can
see that the parsley root greens resemble parsley, but at the same
time are unique, with a elongated and more defined leaf structure.

There are two types of parsley grown for their leaves as an herb. One
being Flat Leaf or Italian Parsley, the other Curly Leaf Parsley.
The flat leaf is most commonly used in recipes, as it has a more intense
flavor than the curly leaf. Leaving the latter more commonly used
as a garnish or for decorative purposes.

Parsley root however is grown for the root rather than the leaves or
the seeds. Still if you purchase the roots with the greens attached,
they are indeed edible and can be used in the same way as
parley herbs. Make sure that they are as fresh as possible,
and the younger the better. The flavor is far milder than
that of the flat leaf parsley, and slightly bitter when raw.

These roots have a unique taste that is a cross somewhere between
celery, carrot and parsley. When eaten raw the flavor is both mild,
yet intense. There is a strong after note especially when unpeeled.
Similar to that of more mature unpeeled carrot.

Culinary uses are much the same as any other root vegetable, and
most similar to that of a carrot or parsnip. This firm, dense root
can brighten up soups, stews and even hold their own roasted.
Or perhaps shaved raw added to a lovely winter salad.

In the coming weeks I will be featuring a few recipes
using these wonderful root vegetables :)

Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

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