Instead of parsley, you may use herbs, like cilantro, chervil, or celery.
In order to retain the distinct flavor of the herb, add it towards the end of cooking. Otherwise, you will get a blended flavor.
Each herb has a distinct flavor, and parsley is no exception. It has a mild peppery flavor, which is familiar to almost everyone. It is believed that, parsley is one of those herbs, that have been cultivated by humans through the centuries. It was very popular for its healing properties, and was used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans for treating various ailments. It was the Ancient Romans, who started using parsley for culinary purposes, especially for garnishing.
What to Use Instead of Parsley?
Parsley has a fresh, crisp and light flavor, that is perfect for a wide range of dishes. Both fresh and dried forms of parsley are used for culinary purposes. Parsley is commonly used in omelets, mashed potatoes, soups, sauces, pasta, scrambled eggs, and vegetable dishes.
Parsley tea is a very popular beverage in some parts of the world. If you want to prepare a recipe that calls for parsley, it is always better to use that herb. If parsley is not available, you may either do away with it, or use its substitutes. Parsley alternatives are also useful for those, who are allergic to the herb, or dislike its flavor.
Alternatives for Parsley
Fresh parsley can be substituted with fresh cilantro, chervil, or celery leaves.
Chervil leaves are milder than parsley. Even celery leaves have a delicate flavor, and can be an excellent substitute for parsley in some dishes.
Cilantro can be used as a fresh parsley substitute, in Mexican, Thai, or Vietnamese recipes. When compared to parsley, cilantro has a stronger flavor.
For Italian dishes, basil is an ideal replacement for parsley.
You may also use baby arugula, which has a mild peppery flavor.
Though curly-leaf parsley is mainly used for garnishing, it can be used as a substitute for Italian (flat leaf) parsley.
Italian parsley has a stronger flavor. So you have to adjust the measurements accordingly. You may also use Italian parsley as a replacement for curly-leaf parsley.
Dried and Fresh Parsley
In some dishes, you may use dried parsley instead of fresh parsley and vice versa. One teaspoon of dried parsley is equivalent to one tablespoon of fresh parsley. However, remember that the flavors may vary slightly, and use of these substitutes may spoil the flavor of some dishes. If you want a substitute for dried parsley, and fresh parsley is not available; try dried basil, sage or marjoram. Choose a herb with a mild flavor.
Some recipes require parsley as a garnish, which does not contribute to the flavor of the dish. In such cases, there is no need of a substitute. You may also use any other herb that goes with the dish. There are some dishes that rely on parsley for the perfect flavor. In such cases, you may use a substitute that has a similar flavor. Some people use chives, arugula, or endives as a replacement for parsley.
Parsley is highly nutritious, and is rich in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin K, folate, and iron. Apart from that, it contains lots of volatile oil compounds that offer various health benefits. As far as the health benefits are concerned, Italian parsley is preferred to the curly-leaf parsley.