A guide to French Cooking: Persillade of garlic and parsley

Garlic and parsley persillade.

Ingredients for persillade

A persillade is a seasoning or sauce base originating in French cuisine. In it’s simplest form it is flat leaf parsley finely chopped with garlic. This can be added to dishes, such as potatoes, to give an extra kick of flavour. More often it is mixed with olive oil and possible other herbs and vinegar to form the basis of a sauce, marinade or ‘rub’ for fish and meat.

A persillade uses fresh herbs which means that the timing of when you add it to a dish will have a big effect on the final taste. Adding at the end of cooking gives a very strong burst of flavour, this is great for bringing simple stews to life. Add it at the beginning of cooking, just like roasting potatoes, gives you a much more mellow flavour.

I first encountered persillade as a feature of French cooking but it is used in dishes across the  Mediterranean. I often cook using it in a variety of ways. My favourite version uses parsley, garlic and olive oil which I use to season roast potatoes or ‘pommes persillade‘.

The recipe for a basic persillade is as follows;

Ingredients

1 Bunch of Parsley
2 Cloves of Garlic

Recipe

Coarsely chop the garlic and parsley separately. Mix them together, and finely chop till they completely mix. I find the best way is to use a mezzaluna. This is the most common form of persillade and can be added to stew’s casseroles, soups and many other dishes. I prefer to add the Persillade close to the end of cooking so the colour and flavour mix through the dish. You can add it early on to give a more subtle flavour.

Suggestions

Mixing the Persillade with olive oil can form the basis of a sauce. By adding it to breadcrumbs, you can make a wonderful crust for a leg of Lamb or by grating in some Lemon zest it goes well with fresh fish as either a crust on fillets or a stuffing for whole fish like Sea Bass.


Russell Bowes

Recipe and text By Russell Bowes

Find me on Google Plus, catch up and message me on Twitter and see more great pictures on Flickr and Pintrest

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