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lemniscate

Missing: Celery leaves, parsley sold with roots, broccoli stalks

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Posted (edited)

I am having an existential memory moment.   The Gardening topic got me to thinking.   I grew up on a farm, sometimes a full on vegetable farm,  near the end a soybean farm.  Vegetables to market was our everyday life.

 

I remember when buying celery included the leaves on the stalks.  The leaves are my favorite part, so much more flavor than the stalks.  We used it in salads and soups.  But then the celery in markets got scalped, no more leaves.     I use the asian celery now so I get the leaves.  It's a different flavor profile, but it's close enough for me at the moment.

 

Parsley, I could swear used to be sold as the whole little plant with the root attached.  We would use it just that way in soup,  I loved the root the most but I would commandeer that whole parsley in my bowl because I loved it as a stewed green.

 

Broccoli suffered a sad fate when it got mangled down to the florets and the stalk, the best part IMHO, was no longer included.  A few swipes with a vegetable peeler on the stalk revealed the sweetest part of the broccoli. 

 

I've talked to the local "artisan" backyard farmer's market people about leaving on the roots, or leaves etc...people just won't buy it because a whole generation got used to the supermarket versions of vegetables and don't recognize the original plant.

 

I guess this my version of "old person yells at clouds" .   🙂

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by lemniscate (log)
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I agree - the celery leaves are the best part of celery.  I also like broccoli stalks.  I always buy the whole thing and use the florets in one dish, usually a stir fry and the peeled stalks in another, frequently as a side vegetable on it's own.  I must admit, though, I don't think I have ever seen parsley with the root attached, although I do buy cilantro that way.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

don't think I have ever seen parsley with the root attached,

 

Maybe it was a regional thing.  I know it was sold in all the Italian owned produce markets and the supermarkets with roots for quite some time.  

 

Here's how I remember it, but the roots were much much smaller/slimmer/tender.   I am not talking about the carrot sized parsley roots version.   This pic was poached from Santa Monica farmer's market, so I guess it is sold like this somewhere still.   Maybe it was an early season vs. late season parsley crop situation, memory has faded.

 

edit: just realized pic is probably cilantro, not parsley.

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 11.56.23 AM.png


Edited by lemniscate (log)

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You can still get root parsley at supermarkets that have some "ethnic" stuff. It is a different thing than regular leaf - even plain leaf - parsley. There's a specific variety that grows a proper root, which is used in soup. My mother always used it in her chicken soup, and so do I if I happen to come across it. I suppose you can pull up a regular parsley and keep it root and all but it's not really meant to be used that way.

 

Yes that photo above is cilantro.

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Those are big cilantro roots.  The cilantro I get has roots a lot smaller than that.

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As previously noted - ethnic markets are the big ticket. Chinese celery is mostly leafy with tender green stalks. In a pinch at a mainstream market.= parsnip comes sort of close to  parsley root. I grew up with it - we grew our own.  As to brocolli - that is odd in terms of offerings. In all my mainstream markets there  are always 2  types on offer."Crowns, and whole stalks. No idea where you live. Cilantro (coriander) root has become established as significant here for curry pastes. I've grown celery (un blanched) - I almost fell down laughing when one of the neighbrhood kids ripped a bit off and was astounded that it had so much flavor. 

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My Asian market seems to only offer the broccoli crowns.  Very little stalk.  But the Asian broccoli is almost all slim stalk, so I use that.  It's stronger in flavor than the widely available supermarket broccoli.   Their cilantro is not sold with roots, it's bunched just like parsley.   I will check the Indian and Middle-Eastern stores for the rooted cilantro out of curiosity.

 

I actually did locate parsley with roots at the hydroponic farm store.   All their harvested herbs are sold as full plants.   They are only open a couple days a week though.

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Here's a photo I posted back in March with the sort of celery I generally find at my local farmers market.  I suspect that one is about 2 feet long so there are plenty of leaves!

IMG_0593.thumb.jpg.63c1385cb6249bffdcb5a80c5521bb9c.jpg

Neither the parsley nor cilantro/coriander are sold with roots by most vendors.  There are a couple of vendors specializing in Asian vegetables who sell coriander roots but I have never seen parsley roots offered.

All the market vendors sell broccoli with the stems and usually plenty of leaves, too.  Grocery stores usually offer a choice of crowns-only or whole stalks. 

 

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