Thursday 29 December 2011

Parsley and Parsley Recipes

The Herb, Parsley

Parsley, Petroselinum crispum is one of the most commonly used herbs in European cookery, being one of the four French 'fines herbs' (fine herbs). Parsley itself comes in two leaf varieties, flat-leaf parsley (sometimes known as Italian parsley), Petroselinum crispum var neapolitanum and curly-leaf parsley, Petroselinum crispum var crispum. Curly-leaf parsley is valued for its decorative qualities and is typically used as a garnish whereas flat-leaf parsley tends to be more used as a culinary herb.

For more information about parsley as an herb, please see the Celtnet Herb Guide entry for Parsley.

Below is a classic recipe that uses parsley as a main flavouring ingredient.

Arroz Español (Spanish Rice)

4 medium tomatoes, quartered
540ml water
1 small onion, chopped
150g brown rice
2 tsp garlic, pounded to a paste
1 tsp salt
Tabasco sauce, to taste (typically 5 or 6 drops)
1 tsp treacle (molasses)
200g chopped tomatoes
50g freshly-chopped parsley
120ml tomato purée
8 rashers streaky bacon
1/2 large green bell pepper, diced

Combine the tomatoes, water, garlic paste, salt, Tabasco and treacle in a blender along with the tomato purée. Blitz to a smooth purée then add to a large pot along with the onion. Bring to a boil then add the rice.

Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid (about 45 minutes) then add the chopped tomatoes and parsley. Stir thoroughly and cover. Meanwhile, fry he bacon in a pan until crisp then remove and set aside on kitchen paper to drain. Add the green bell pepper to the bacon fat and fry until soft then stir into the rice mixture.

Take the mix off the heat then pour the rice into a 1l casserole dish that's been lightly-greased then crumble the bacon on top. Place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is completely tender. Serve hot.

(This recipe is kindly reproduced from the Celtnet Arroz Español (Spanish Rice) recipe page

For more information on culinary herbs (with over 90 catalogued and described) please see the Celtnet guide to herbs.
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