Parsley: tabouleh.

Date: Sun, 12 May 1996 12:44:43 -0400
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Mary Curtis <mary12.ONE.NET>
Subject: bitter parsley

I am planting my own parsley, that's for sure. What I am wondering is whether or not to plant curley parsley. Whenever I use this parsley it seems to taste bitter. Not at all wonderful. What am I doing wrong to that parsley? Do I need to take off the stems. Where is the bitterness from? Curley parsley is certainly more convenient in this area than the other kinds of flat leaf parsleys. Mary Curtis

From: Maria del Giudice <spider.RT66.COM>

>I am planting my own parsley, that's for sure. What I am wondering is whether or not to plant curley parsley.

I don't bother with the curley leaf. I don't know how to reduce the bitterness, but the texture makes me think cows would like it better than me (appearantly so, since my mom's garden was just decimated by cows, and she has enough trouble with the deer!). I like the flat leaf Italian parsley. I'm not sure, but I would guess the curley leaf stuff was developed by the food industry for decoration. (purely biased opinion : ) )

From: Esther Czekalski <E.Czekalski.M.BULL.COM>

It could just be your taste; I think the bite of curley parsley is pleasant in some dishes (having a mind blank on the name of the dish with parsley, bulgar wheat and tomatoes -- it uses three bunches of the regular, curley leaf parsley) but if it were stronger, or the other flavors in the dish were weaker it could be described as bitter, so maybe you are just more sensitive.

Or then again, some herbs get stronger as they get older or grow in dry and lots of sun. Which rarely happens where I live, so you might want to water more and pick it younger. Has anyone in a warmer clime than mine, who likes curley parsley, found theirs to be bitter in mid summer heat?

From: Sara Anne Corrigan <SaraAnneC.AOL.COM>

Parsley is considered a "bitter herb" from Biblical times-- Jewish families of my acquaintance include curled parsley as a ceremonial food in annual Passover Seder dinners. If you can get some fresh curled parsley from your grocer, do so, taste it and see if it is not the same as what you are growing. I suppose it is possible something about your soil conditions could alter the flavor of what you grow.....

also, curled parsley is a biennial-- my second year plants are already beginning to send up bloom spikes, and those leaves do seem to be more bitter than what I snipped from the plants earlier this season - or all last season. Are your plants getting ready to bolt?

I will be interested in what you learn, from others on this list, and from your own experiments

From: Sara Anne Corrigan <SaraAnneC.AOL.COM>

Esther-- that would be Tabouleh or tabouli you are talking about -- and I LOVE it!!
American recipes tend to play down the parsley and bulk up on the bulghur wheat.
Traditional Middle Eastern recipes do just the opposite. I like theirs better.

From: Pat Peck <arpeck.FREENET.SCRI.FSU.EDU>

Following is Tabbouleh recipe. Don't have middle eastern recipe, but this one is tasty. (also see mint recipes)

1 ¼ cup bulgur
1 ½ tsp whole coriander seeds
½ tsp whole allspice
2 tomatoes chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 gloves garlic minced
1 small red onion, chopped
½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
½ tsp. pepper
¼ - ½ tsp crushed dried chile pepper
½ cup fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Serve on bed of lettuce

Rinse bulgur and place in bowl covered by 1 inch water. Allow to soak for about an hour. Toast coriander and allspice seeds in ungreased skillet, grind. Chop tomatoes and cucumbers, sprinkle lightly with salt and drain in colander. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the bulgar in colander and squeeze out excess water. Add chopped garlic, onions, parsley, mint, peppers and toasted seeds. Toss in tomatoes and cucumbers. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and toss together well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Tastes best if you allow to stand at room temperature for ½ hour before serving. I have a friend who keeps a supply in the refrigerator and adds any fresh vegetable remnants she has on hand. i.e., peppers, squash.

I use small coffee grinder set aside exclusively for herbs to grind, or you can use pepper mill. Not as romantic as mortar and pestle, but easy.

Hope y'all enjoy.

From: Chris McElrath <chrism@SMHSI-GW.SMHSI.COM>

The June/July 96 issue of Herb Companion (just got it yesterday!) has ... an article on parsley. It listed many varieties--and I thought there were only 2 curly and Italian flat leaf!

Now for Tabbouleh! I love the stuff and have to be careful not to make too much at once because it can cause gastric distress in large (massive) amounts! I don't use a recipe anymore as I increase the amounts of whatever I have or am currently craving:

Bulghur (I use fine cut, but medium works too)
Green onions
Lemon Juice
Oil (I use olive, but anything light will work)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Cucumber (Optional)

Soak the bulghur in warm water for at least a half hour to soften it. Meanwhile, chop the parsley, mint, and garlic fine. For a cup of bulghur I probably use a ½ cup of chopped mint and ¾ cup of chopped parsley. I use 2 cloves of garlic, but it depends on your sensibilities. Chop the tomatoes and green onions. You can seed the tomatoes, but I like the juice in the salad. Use both green and white parts of the onion. I would use 2-3 medium tomatoes and at least 4 green onions. Add the cucumber at this point if you are using it. I chop the cuke pretty small. Add about 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil and about the same of lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Then taste it with a big spoon and adjust whatever you like. It's best to then let it sit in the fridge for an hour, but I can never wait that long.

Sorry if this recipe is a little jumbled but I'm reciting from memory. This truly is one of those dishes that you can adjust any way you feel like.

From: Pat Peck <arpeck.FREENET.SCRI.FSU.EDU>

> >I have a recipe for making parsley dressing. You use something like a cup and a half of parsley. Curly leaf works great. I'll see if I can find it if you'd like? You use a food processor to make it, so it doesn't matter about texture.
> Oh, Yes. That sounds great! Something to put on that nice lettuce I have growing. I suppose a blender will work? I don't have a food processor.

Following is Parsley dressing recipe from "Southern Herb Growing."

1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
4 Tbsps. chives, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 egg
1 cup fresh parsley, hard-packed
with heavy stems discarded
⅛ tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary

Place all ingredients in blender. Mix at high speed until thick and smooth. Store in refrigerator. Pour over salad greens or cold cooked vegetables.

> Speaking of dressings, Does anybody have some good Dill recipes? I've got a lot more dill coming than I expected.

Have you ever tried Dill mustard? Combine

1 8 oz. jar Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped dill
3 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil

Store in refrigerator.

Y'all enjoy.

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