Love/Hate Relationship: Parsley

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.

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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.

 

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