More than Just a Garnish

From the Fabulous Baker Boys.

Frank Baker is trying to convince Susie Diamond to keep the song “Feelings” in their repertoire.

Frank Baker:  Okay, let’s hear it. We trashed the Avedon, the Luau Lounge – what’s our beef with ‘Feelings’?

Susie Diamond:  Nothing… except who cares? I mean, does anybody really need to hear ‘Feelings’ again in their lifetime? It’s like parsley, okay? Take it away, nobody’s going to know the difference.

Frank Baker:  ‘Feelings’ is not parsley!

Susie Diamond:  Frank, to you ‘Feelings’ may be goddamn filet mignon, but to me, it’s parsley. It’s less than parsley.

All I can say is, poor parsley.

Most people tend to think like Susie Baker.  For most people it is an afterthought.  Worse than that.  For most people parsley is probably given absolutely no thought.  Just some meaningless greens tossed haphazardly upon a piece of fish or strewn on the side of a dinner plate.

But for me parsley is so  much more than that.

Parsley is rich in vitamin C having approximately three times as much as oranges.  Parsley is also rich in vitamin A, well-known for its effects on vision, plus can mitigate risks of atherosclerosis and diabetes.

The iron content is also exceptional being about twice as much as spinach.  And this leafy little wonder is also source of manganese, calcium and potassium.

Parsley also contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants.  And the folic acid in parsley is a critical nutrient in cardiovascular health.  Raw parsley cleanses the blood, dissolves sticky deposits in veins and maintains elasticity of blood vessels.

By incorporating parsley in to a dish as it is cooking I am able to add the nutrients that this leafy little green brings to the table and by adding it to the finished product I add a bright freshness that livens up any meal.

Parsley comes in two main and readily available varieties.  Flat or Italian leaf parsley or curly leaf.  There is a subtle taste difference in each but not so much that one cannot be used in place of the other.

Parsley is also economical.  A bunch of organic parsley can be bought for less than $2 a bunch and can be used though out the week in every dinner.

Yesterday I made Coq Au Vin.  I added parsley while the chicken was on its last simmer.  Tonight salmon is on the menu and I will add a little chopped parsley after dinner is plated and ready to serve.

While most people think of parsley as an unnecessary accessory I think of it as more of the perfect finishing touch.  To some parsley is the easy way of adding green to a meal.  To me parsley adds that pop of nutrition and color.  Most people think parsley lacks flavor.   But without  it most soups and stews would be flat.

Next time you are at the grocery store I highly recommend you throw a bunch of parsley in your cart and make it a habit to use a little in each meal.

And if you still can’t figure out what to do with it you can always just chew on it.  Chewing parsley helps control bad breath.

In the end I will also say that I agree and disagree with Susie Diamond.  The next time I am at a wedding I wouldn’t miss the song “Feelings” but I would notice if someone left out my parsley.

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