When I was young, parsley was a garnish that you pushed off the edge of the plate to eat the real food. Nobody used parsley in a dish or as a food to eat. Silly, silly us.
The first time I tasted Tabouleh was in the home of a high school classmate of Lebanese descent. Mrs. Laham made a salad that was the most delicious, most interesting, most go-back-to-the-buffet-for-just-one-more-bite salad I had EVER had. And the main ingredient is parsley.
Of course in my youth, curly parsley was all that our grocery had. And then all of a sudden, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, curly was non grata and you had to use flat leaf. It supposedly has more flavor and is easier to work with. Well, not really, but we all bought into it. Flavor: they both taste like parsley to me. And to be honest, I think it’s easier to chop curly than flat. So I am uncertain why these myths survived.
So, anyway, when I read this article about how silly we’ve all been and how we can relax and eat it without shame again, I was relieved. It also supported my rejection of some TV chefs who constantly deride non-gourmet items that home cooks use. Any chef who makes these insanely pretentious comments is quickly off my list (enter Mario and Michael, aka resident “The Chew” gourmands, with their ridiculous diatribe against maraschino cherries or their completely rude remarks to a guest host making a pot-luck salad with, of all horrors, canned fruit cocktail.) Look, I have my cooking rules, I’ve written about what I prefer, what I won’t use in my kitchen, but I am never on board with insulting people who use something else or being ungracious when they serve me something that they have made. There are lines for civilized people to never cross. Decorum, people, decorum.
So our old friend curly parsley, eat it if you like, don’t judge a cook who uses it, give it another chance. Here is one of my favorite salads, Parsley Salad which adds it to rice and almonds and lemon, just goes with everything and is good all year round. Seriously, flat or curly will do. And I ran across a wonderful list of new recipes to try here. I am SO going to try the tempura recipe, outside of course (I hate to fry in the house) but this will be such fun on the patio this summer!