Gourmet Parsley? Yep.

Gourmet Parsley? Yep.

Parsley isn’t paisley. Unless, of course, it is.

This year I’m growing gourmet parsley. Three kinds of gourmet parsley to be more accurate.

You may ask, “What, pray tell, is gourmet parsley”? I’m so glad you asked.

Gourmet Parsley #1: Hamburg

Hamburg Parsley

Hamburg parsley is actually a parsnip (not my scoffing husband, Parsnip. The vegetable parsnip) The root can be used and is delicious mashed either with potatoes or just on it’s own. Seriously, most people cannot tell the difference between mashed potatoes and mashed parsnips.

I grow parsnips year round…well nearly year round. I sometimes have a break in July through August as they do love to bolt in the extreme of Texas summer. Last year, I just kept growing them, let them go to seed and saved the seeds. This will work if you are not growing carrots or other root veg in the immediate area. Most of the things that would cause cross pollination problems are cleared out by the end of May because of the heat, so it works for me.

Hamburg Parsley Root 2

That’s the roots, but it’s the tops that are the parsley. You can cut the tops of Hamburg parsnips and use them in salads, on hamburgers, in potatoes, really anything you would use parsley for. It’s quite tasty. If you’re going to use your roots, just be sure to not take an excess from any one plant. A little off each plant, every couple of days, is just fine.

Hamburg parsley is super easy to grow. It’s a great kids veg. It grows fast and they’ll love eating it if they grow it themselves. Plus, they look like cream colored carrots, which is fancy.

One thing to keep in mind, Hamburg roots are pretty small. I use the roots in with other veg instead of relying on it on it’s own. Three roots with a pot of potatoes or a bunch of carrots. I would have to harvest most, if not all of my Hamburg to get a decent pot. Instead I use the parsley weekly and pull about 3 to 4 roots a week to add to other dishes. I then re-seed to keep up a steady supply.

*Note: Not all parsnips are great parsley. Hamburg is the very best, mild parsley flavor, good roots. All parsnips are tasty in my opinion, but I only grow the Hamburg for parsley because some of the others are rather strong and a bit bitter. Hamburg is mild and delicious in salads, soups or sauces. I used to mix all the parsnip seed together, but I’ve stopped doing that as the tops look very similar but taste quite different. Hamburg is now segregated for parsley production.

Gourmet Parsley #2: Chervil

Bunch of Chervil...Yum!

Again, not parsley at all, but used just the same. Chervil is another thing that if you haven’t tried it yet, you really must. It has a kind of mild cucumber, anise flavor that is hard to pin down, but you know it’s delicious.

I’m not a huge anise fan. I find it overpowering when introduced to most dishes. Chervil has just that hint of flavor that is so mild, you’ll wonder if that was indeed what you were tasting. That’s tops in my book.

Add Chervil to salads, soups, sauces. It’s delicious with eggs, made into salsa and my favorite, Chervil soup, which I’ll give you the recipe for at the end of this post.

In the garden, chervil is easy to grow. You pretty much just set it and forget it. It doesn’t care for overly wet ground, but other than that, it’ll be happy in any sunny spot.

Chervil in hand.

It can come back as a self seeder, so make up your mind if you want it in the garden bed, ’cause it may want to stay there once you’ve established it.

If you don’t want to commit, grow it in pots. You can have it year round if you watch for freeze warnings. It’s delicious and easy to grow. We love that, don’t we?

Oh, need a gift in a pinch? Cut back your chervil, hang to dry upside down. Make up little packs of dried chervil to give as gifts. I’m giving you a recipe for a gift pack that is great in a pinch when you want to give a little something for say, a new member at church, or a hostess gift.

In the kitchen, chervil can be used for everything you would normally use parsley for, but it can also be used for more! I add chervil to just about everything I make. For one thing, I have an abundance of it. It grows so easily. For another thing, it adds just a little something, that makes already delicious food over the top scrumptious. I even make chervil garlic bread that is out of this world. It’s just a plain bread with chervil and roasted garlic added, but it keeps everyone guessing and grabbing for more!

Gourmet Parsley #3: Lettuce or crinkled leaf

Every year I grow a section of Lettuce leaf or Crinkled leaf parsley. It’s shape is a little more paisley than the flat, and the flavor is about the same. I use it extensively in salads, as it is easy to grow and fills in nicely if the lettuce is smallish. It also looks pretty on sandwiches and hamburgers, so there’s that.



On to the recipes…

Salad Dressing Dry Mix for giving (or just using)

Dry mix for giving (or using)

  • 1 cup dried parsley (chervil or Hamburg tops are great for this)
  • 1/2 cup saltine crackers crushed fine (Ritz is also delicious and I’ve used oyster crackers as well)
  • 3 Tbs. Garlic flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/3 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp. good sea salt (some people like a little more, you decide)
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. dried dill
  • Optional 2 Tbs. dried lavender flowers or
  • Optional 2 Tbs. dried marigold petals

In medium bowl mix first nine ingredients. If you’re adding the flower petals, break them up so they are small, but don’t pulverize them. You want them to be distinguishable as flower petals, but not overwhelming. Mix them into your dry mix until incorporated.

Package in small zip close bags with the “recipe” attached.

To prepare dressing, combine one Tablespoon dry mix to one cup mayo and one cup buttermilk refrigerate 15 minutes to 1/2 hour before serving.

To prepare as dip. Combine 1 Tablespoon dry mix to 1 cup sour cream, add a little milk until it is the consistency you want. Refrigerate 15 minutes to 1/2 hour before serving.

If you use the dried flowers, make sure to give it some really paisley name like, “Marigold Farmhouse Dressing” or “Lavender Ladies Day Dip”

Paisley Potatoes with Parsnips

  • 8 gold potatoes
  • 4 Hamburg Parsley roots (tops cut off)
  • butter to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons cream or regular milk

I leave the skins on my potatoes for the health benefits, plus my family just loves them that way, but if you must, peel your potatoes. In adequate sized sauce pan add quartered potatoes, rough chopped Hamburg parsley and any other parsnips if you want,  1 teaspoon sea salt and water enough to cover potatoes. Bring to boil, lower heat to slow boil, cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While potatoes  and parsnips are cooking, warm cream and butter until heated through and butter is melted (careful not to scorch)

Drain cooked potatoes of water. Put your hot potatoes and parsley root in a bowl, with a potato masher mash together, add cream butter mix and add milk until you get the consistency you want. Don’t over mash, or the potatoes will get gluey. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with your parsley tops (of course).

Chervil Soup

Chervil soup with Crab...Yummy!

  • 4 gold potatoes skin on quartered
  • 2 cups minced chervil
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 celery stalks rough cut
  • 3 carrots rough cut
  • 1 onion rough cut
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • sea salt to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • Optional: cubed leftover rotisserie chicken, crab meat
  1. In large skillet, cook onion, celery and carrot in butter until tender.
  2. Add flour and coat the veg with the flour
  3. In soup pot, combine potatoes, chicken stock and add onion mix, bring to boil then turn down to simmer 30 to 45 minutes
  4. Add chervil, salt and pepper to taste, allow to simmer 15 t0 20 more minutes
  5. Add cream heat through (about 5 to 7 minutes)
  6. Serve topped with chervil (of course)
  7. If you add the optional chicken, add it when you add the cream so it can heat through
  8. If you’re adding crab meat, just put it on top like a garnish

Chervil Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Chervil Sandwiches

  • Chervil cut small
  • Cucumbers sliced thin (I use lemon cukes for this but any are fine)
  • 1 pack cream cheese room temp
  • Dash of worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • rye bread, sliced thin
  1. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, worcestershire sauce, sea salt, pepper. Mix well until smooth
  2. Cut rye bread into squares, smooth cream cheese mix over bread making sure to spread all the way to the corners and edges. Put cream cheese on both inside sides of bread.
  3. Layer thin slices of cucumber, chervil top with other side of spread bread.
  4. Garnish with toothpick skewered with chervil
  5. Serve with Chervil soup  and Basil Lemonade for the perfect lunch with the girls!

Have a Paisley Parsley Day!~KeriAnne



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2 Responses »

  1. Hey, KeriAnne! Another great post! This one finally motivated me to list you as my very favorite gardening blog on the “Stuff We Like” page at gettin’ fresh. Thanks for the info on parsley and chervil!

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