Parsley or garden parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice, and a vegetable. Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 25 cm long with numerous 3 cm leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter. Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking.
In the food context, parsley is a herb that is widely used in cooking for its fresh and slightly bitter taste, as well as its bright green color. It can be used both as a garnish and as a flavoring ingredient, and is often added to salads, soups, stews, sauces, and marinades. Here are some examples of dishes and ingredients that often include parsley:
- Tabouleh: a Middle Eastern salad made with bulgur wheat, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and lemon juice.
- Gremolata: a condiment made with parsley, lemon zest, and garlic, often used as a topping for meat dishes.
- Chimichurri: a sauce made with parsley, garlic, vinegar, and oil, often used as a condiment for grilled meats.
- Green goddess dressing: a salad dressing made with parsley, tarragon, chives, anchovies, and mayonnaise.
- Salsa verde: a green sauce made with parsley, capers, garlic, and olive oil, often served with fish or vegetables.
- Herbed butter: butter that is mixed with chopped parsley and other herbs, often used to flavor bread or seafood.
- Italian meatballs: meatballs made with a mixture of ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, and parsley, often served with tomato sauce and pasta.
- Tabbouleh: a dish made with bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Other herbs and ingredients that are similar to parsley in terms of flavor and usage include cilantro, basil, thyme, and mint.