Mother Earth Living

Herbal Blends: Persillade Recipe

This French garnish adds pungency at the very end of cooking a dish and is often added and mixed with the pan juices.
By Susan Belsinger
April/May 2012
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This quick French garnish adds pungency at the very end of cooking a dish and is often added and mixed with the pan juices.
Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison

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Herbs and Herbalists

It's a constant battle: medicine versus herbs. This is how Marguerite got interested in herbs.

This quick French garnish is very similar to the Italian gremolata. It adds pungency at the very end of cooking a dish and is often added and mixed with the pan juices. It can be heated briefly in olive oil or butter, or simply used as a garnish. Often, a steamed or sautéed vegetable is tossed with the persillade (păhr-sēē-yăhd) and allowed to stand, covered, for a few minutes to permeate the dish. Use it with grilled or steamed vegetables, especially beets, cauliflower and potatoes. I like it in egg dishes like a frittata or omelet, added toward the end of cooking. The mixture is good on raw tomatoes or a plate of cucumbers, drizzled with a little olive oil. It brightens a pizza or bowl of pasta and is perfect for grilled or pan-fried fish or fowl.

Although it is most often made with garlic and parsley, I like it best with shallots in place of the garlic; it is a bit milder yet still piquant. It makes a perfect compound butter. The French sometimes add other herbs like chervil, savory, thyme or tarragon to their persillade. PERSILLADE RECIPE MAKES 1/2 CUP

• Scant 1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
• 2 cloves minced garlic or 1 large shallot, minced—about 1 to 2 tablespoons 

Susan Belsinger, a longtime contributor to The Herb Companion, co-wrote The Creative Herbal Home (Creative Printing, 2007). 

Click here to read the main article, Create Your Own Herbal Blends.

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