Food & Drink

Parsley Recipes, Because We All Need A Little Help Figuring Out How To Use It

Challenge: Think of one recipe parsley wouldn't make better.
04/02/2015 09:18am ET | Updated April 2, 2015

Spring vegetables like artichokes, ramps and snap peas may take center stage this time of year, but a supporting cast of characters deserves just as much attention. We're talking about fresh herbs, the kind we'll use all season long: dill, basil, mint, cilantro. And perhaps the most versatile of all: parsley.

This humble herb packs so much flavor that it wakes up any dish. While mint or dill may overpower (and we're not complaining), parsley never steals the limelight. We're such big fans of this herb that we're even into a straight-up parsley salad. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

When you're buying parsley, the first step is establishing whether your need curly- or flat-leaf parsley. While the curly version is often thought to be tasteless and just used as a garnish, it can actually be quite flavorful. The Kitchn explains that the flavor is due to how and where the herbs are grown. Before buying one or the other, use the smell test to see which variety is more potent in your grocery store or farmers market. As a general rule of thumb, flat leaf is great for salads and sauces. And Bon Appetit suggests you use curly-leaf parsley in tabbouleh and in a bouquet garni to season stock.

Here are 17 parsley recipes to try out this spring. If you aren't already a parsley convert, these should do the trick.

1
Chimichurri Sauce
Gimme Some Oven
Get the Chimichurri Sauce recipe from Gimme Some Oven
2
Orange And Parsley Salad
Martha Stewart
Get the Orange And Parsley Salad recipe from Martha Stewart
3
Mashed Parsnips And Potatoes with Chives And Parsley
Simply Recipes
4
Ramp And Parsley Pesto
Simply Recipes
Get the Ramp And Parsley Pesto recipe from Simply Recipes
5
Parsnip Soup With Leeks And Parsley
Simply Recipes
Get the Parsnip Soup With Leeks And Parsley recipe from Simply Recipes
6
Quinoa Salad With Hazelnuts, Apple And Dried Cranberries
Food52
Get the Quinoa Salad With Hazelnuts, Apple And Dried Cranberries recipe by darksideofthespoon from Food52
7
Roberta's Parsley Cake
Food52
Get Roberta's Parsley Cake recipe by Genius Recipes from Food5
8
10-Minute Creamy, Buttery Herbed Bucatini
Half Baked Harvest
Get the 10-Minute Creamy, Buttery Herbed Bucatini recipe from Half Baked Harvest
9
Aromatic Poached Salmon With Rye And Caper Breadcrumbs
Food52
10
Spicy Green Harissa
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Spicy Green Harissa recipe from Half Baked Harvest
11
Pistachio-Parsley Pesto And Grilled Taleggio Cheese Sandwich
Naturally Ella
12
Spring Panzanella Salad
Two Peas And Their Pod
Get the Spring Panzanella Salad recipe from Two Peas And Their Pod
13
White Bean Salad Recipe With Tuna And Parsley
Kaylyn's Kitchen
14
Fettuccine With Parsley Pesto And Walnuts
Martha Stewart
15
Parsley Hummus With Whole Wheat Pita Chips
Kalyn's Kitchen
16
Easy Chimichurri Shrimp
Damn Delicious
Get the Easy Chimichurri Shrimp recipe from Damn Delicious
17
Parsley Root And Chestnut Soup With Bacon Relish And Crisp Croutons
Verses From My Kitchen
18
Lemon, Parsley And Parmesan Plus Pasta
Martha Stewart

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

1
Sawtooth Coriander (Or Cilantro)
Andrew Bret Wallis via Getty Images
The jagged edge leaves of this plant are wonderfully fragrant and are one of the most ubiquitous herbs found in Vietnamese food. They're used to garnish soups and salads and to bring zesty freshness to everything from fish dishes to spring rolls.
2
Sweet Potato Plant Leaves
Alison Spiegel
Before the sweet potato even grows, the plants sprout large, spade-shaped leaves that Vietnamese cuisine puts to good use. Both the stems and stalks are good for soups.
3
Amaranth
Alison Spiegel
Most of the herb plate is various shades of green, but amaranth adds color with its purplish-reddish hue. It's often sautéed or boiled and served with dipping sauces.
4
Bitter Herb
Alison Spiegel
Not just for the Seder plate, bitter herb, is, as its name suggests, bitter. It's used in noodle soups, and thrown into stew-like hot pot dishes.
5
Asian Basil
Alison Spiegel
Another ubiquitous herb, Asian basil is dropped into soups, wrapped in pancakes and served as a garnish for just about anything. Also known as Thai basil, it is ever-so-slightly spicier than its Italian counterpart, with hints of anise.
6
Mint
Margarita Komine via Getty Images
Another blockbuster in everything from soups to banh mi, mint is probably the most refreshing herb. You won't find an herb plate without it.
7
Lemongrass
Alison Spiegel
Citrusy, slightly sweet and a little pungeant, lemongrass adds layers of complexity to whatever it touches. You might find a stalk adding a wealth of flavor to your soup or steeping in honey-sweetened hot water for a tea. You might also see the ends chopped off and cooked with a vegetable or beef dish. However lemongrass finds its way into your food, you can't miss it.
8
Water Spinach or Morning Glory
Alison Spiegel
Typically stir-fried -- stems and all -- with garlic and seasoned with spices or chilis, water spinach or morning glory is a very common side dish in Vietnam.
9
Dill
lacaosa via Getty Images
Dill is a common herb in Northern Vietnam, and is one of the essential ingredients in some speciality dishes of Hanoi, like Cha Ca, a fish dish made with scallions and dill.