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By Leah Koenig
Parsley, that springy green herb that comes in curly and flat-leaf varieties, is almost certainly included on more plates than any other ingredient — as a garnish.
And for good reason: With its bright green color and refreshing but subtle bite, parsley makes an ideal last-second addition sprinkled atop savory dishes, or providing a burst of color on the side of a platter.
The practice of garnishing food with parsley dates back to Roman times, when banqueters munched on the leaves after meals to freshen their breath — and it's been carried on by restaurants, butcher shops, and home cooks ever since.
But I think it's time for parsley to move from the edges of the plate to the center. This summer, I'm not going to stand for that bunch of parsley rotting, forgotten in the vegetable crisper.
After all, like its fellow garnish-turned-centerpiece vegetable, kale, this leafy green is filled with vitamin C and iron.
Better yet, its flavor is distinct enough to hold its own as the base for a bright chimichurri sauce, tabbouleh salad, or tempura-style fried herb appetizer, while subtle enough to lend bright flavor to compound butter, chicken salad, or a hearty minestrone.
Parsley Tempura Parsley gets the tempura treatment for a bright and crunchy appetizer.
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