This winter and early spring vegetable can be steamed, boiled, puréed, or creamed. Use parsley root in braises, soups, stews, and vegetable mixes to add depth and aroma. It works particularly well in combination with other roots and tubers such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, and onions.
Parsley root is also called Hamburg parsley, Dutch parsley, and turnip-rooted parsley.
You will find parsley root at your farm market from late summer through early spring. The best supply of parsley root is in mid-winter. A touch of frost will improve its sweetness and flavor.
Parsley root is a biennial grown as an annual. Its tapering root resembles salsify or a small parsnip—the root growing about 6 inches (15 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. It is often double rooted.
Parsley root has large Italian parsley-like leaves—finely cut, flat, and dark green.
The leaves of parsley root are coarse textured and can be used as a garnish.
Choose. Select parsley roots that are firm, creamy-beige, unblemished and about the same size. The best tasting roots will be small to medium sized. Avoid withered roots.
Buy parsley root with the feathery, bright green leaves attached. Roots with leaves that are limp or wilted are not fresh. Do not trim off the leaves until you are ready to use the roots.
Store. Parsley root will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week if you first wrap it in a paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. The leaves will keep for just 1 or 2 days.
Prepare. To prepare parsley root for cooking remove the leaves and fine roots and then gently scrub with a brush to remove any soil. The peel is tasty so don’t peel or scrape off the skin.
Trim off the greens, wash and dry them and reserve for used like regular parsley.
Serve. Parsley root is most often eaten cooked, but it can also be eaten raw.
- Small roots can be used raw whole, sliced, diced or shredded in a winter salad. Shredded parsley root and celeriac combine well for a raw salad. Sprinkle cut areas with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
- Cook parsley root sliced or cubed like you would other roots such as turnips, parsnips, and carrots or like you would celeriac or asparagus.
- Roast, sauté, fry, boil, steam, or add parsley root to soups and stews. Prepare parsley root by itself creamed, puréed or simply steamed or boiled and buttered.
- Use one part boiled parsley root to 3 parts boiled potatoes and mash.
- Dried roots can be used as a flavoring: dry them on a shallow baking tray in an oven heated to 170°F (77°C); cool before storing in an airtight jar in a dark place.
Flavor partners. Parsley root partners well with barley, beets, cabbage, chicken soup, horseradish, oxtail, root vegetables, shallots, sweet potato, and thyme.
Nutrition. Parsley root contains vitamin C and iron. It is high in sodium.
Health Note: The leaves and roots of wild parsley root resemble the leaves and roots of hemlock which is poisonous.
Parsley root facts and trivia. Parsley root can be eaten cooked or raw. It is most popular in central Europe—Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Germany—and in Russia and Holland. It is one of several vegetables and herbs known in Germany as suppengrun or soup greens which are combined with beef or poultry and boiled and used as soups and sauces.
Parsley root was first used for cooking in Germany in the sixteenth century. That is where it got the name Hamburg parsley.
The botanical name for parsley root is Petroselinum crispum var. tuberosum.