What is Parsley Root?

December 20, 2011 | By | Comments (7)

I live in a very ethnically diverse neighborhood—Jackson Heights, Queens. Within 20 blocks we have at least five Indian grocery stores, three Asian markets, and many, many Latin bodegas. So on most trips to the market I come across ingredients—either packaged or fresh—that I didn’t know existed.

Above is my latest “find”—parsley root. I needed to buy parsnips for a recipe we were testing in the kitchen. I walked into the store, bought these, and walked right out. One doesn’t often see parsnips with the tops still on. First I had the thought—I didn’t know that parsley was the top of a parsnip root! Then I read the tag—Parsley Root. What?!

When I got to the office I did a little research and discovered that parsnips and parsley root are not, in fact, the same thing. They are closely related but taste quite different. Parsnips are mild and sweet, while the parsley root has a bright, slightly minty flavor. Parsley root is often used in central and Eastern European soups and stews.

Have you ever used parsley root?