This week’s episode of Love/Hate is brought to you by Parsley. Parsley: when you want something that tastes awful to look amazing.
Okay, that was a bit dramatic.
Seriously, though, I’m only now truly beginning to understand the wonder of parsley. Maybe ‘wonder’ is a strong word. How about ‘enjoyment’? Or ‘necessity’?
Since I was a kid, I’ve never liked parsley. I didn’t hate it, per se, but it seemed out of place with everything. Parsley is like that crooked, overused swing at a child’s playground; sure, it works, and it might even be charming, but one day you realize it’s just a little out of place and, well, maybe it’s time to fix that sucker.
On cooking shows (which I love, I’m addicted to, and don’t even get me started on The Pioneer Woman, whom I adore) parsley is always used for freshness. “Let’s chop up some parsley,” Ree, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman, might say, “just to add a little freshness to this dish. Oh, it’s just so wonderful. Have I told you I’m addicted to parsley? It’s true, I am.”
Sure, I’ll agree to that. It adds freshness.
It also adds a weedy, tinny, copper-penny flavor that is a little unsettling. It’s up there with cilantro. There is nothing worse than getting my hands on a big, giant, delicious burrito (of which there is an abundance here in Southern California!), taking a glorious bite, only to have a long, stemmy, four-leaf-clover knock-off come sliding out between your teeth. Gross. I’d rather it be hair. Okay, not a hair, but still.
As I venture deeper into cooking, I realize the importance of embracing new things. Granted, parsley is not new, but developing a taste for it is. And you know what? I think I’m developing a taste for it. Mind you, I’m not making it a point to add it to everything, but I can see how its use can go beyond making a beige omelette look like something I can post on Instagram. It really does add a nice, fresh flavor.
Just this morning I added it to my scrambled eggs. And wow. It’s not as invigorating as adding sugar to coffee, or cream cheese to a bagel, but it really enhanced the...essence of the eggs. Oh god, I sound like a judge on Chopped. Honestly, though, the parsley made a subtle yet noticeable difference that I liked. It was springy (like the season, not a coil in your mattress).
I’ll use it more often, I think. Maybe in my next pasta dish, or maybe a spruced-up butter log. It’s a thing.
Still, my use of parsley is a Love/Hate relationship – I hate that I’m starting to love it.