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The parsnip lookalike is popular for its versatility and unique aroma
Parsley root is a great ingredient for soups, purees, or salads. For more information about when you can buy parsley root, how to prepare it and how to recognise it, read on.
Parsley is an extremely popular herb in the Central European cuisine, however, the parsley root is still not well known amongst most hobby cooks. It has a delicate taste and is very versatile. The root vegetable originated in Central and Northern Europe and does best in temperate climates. Today, the root is cultivated worldwide and is also grown in greenhouses. In Switzerland, the herbaceous plant is sowed in March and April and harvest commences in October. It prefers a slightly looser soil and frost does not harm it – making it a great winter vegetable.
Parsley root is a variety of the parsley plant that is specifically grown for its taproot, which is thicker than that of the normal parsley plant. It is extremely similar to parsnip in its shape and colour with its yellow skin and white flesh. Its shape however, is slightly more slender near the top and its leaves shoot upwards, whereas turnip leaves are somewhat sunken. There is also a difference in taste between the two vegetables: turnips have a slightly nutty flavour while parsley root has, needless to say, a delicate hint of parsley.
|Calories||55 kcal per 100g|
|Nutrients||8g carbohydrate, 4.3g fibre, 0.6g fat, 2.3g protein per 100g|
|Season||October to February|
|Storage||refrigerate or store in cellar at 10-12°C|
|Shelf life||1 week to 6 months, depending on storage|
The parsley root is in season in winter and therefore enjoys being stored at lower temperatures (ideally between 0-2°C). If you have a 0°C zone in your fridge, that would be the perfect place to store your parsley root. Alternatively, you can cover it with sand or soil in a box and store it in the cellar where it can remain fresh for up to half a year.
Prewashed parsley root is best stored in a damp tea towel which needs to be replaced regularly. It can last up to three weeks in the fridge. As soon as the root goes off, its firm and crunchy texture transforms into a slightly spongy consistency. When shopping for parsley root, it is best to opt for the smaller options as they are particularly spicy and tender.
The preparation method for the winter vegetable is relatively uncomplicated and is similar to that of carrots. First wash the vegetable under running water and remove the green parts and keep them to one side for seasoning later. Next, peel the parsley root with a peeler and cut it into slices or cubes, or you can in fact leave it whole, glaze it with honey or sugar and serve it as a side with meat.
For a tasty root vegetable side dish, cut the root into small cubes or thin slices and stew it in a vegetable stock until it is cooked through. Add some butter, a pinch of sugar and some of the green from the root to enhance its powerful flavour. Whether pureed in a creamy soup or used as an injection of flavour in a bouillon, parsley root is a valuable soup ingredient. The root vegetable is also quite a healthy addition to the diet, so it’s high time you include it in your cooking!
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