Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A culinary oops

Between my CSA and recent farmers market buys, I've been loaded up with lots of produce this week.

But I learned a lesson this week - make sure you read the e-newsletter from your CSA.

While unpacking the box this weekend, my 3 year old was shouting out the names of the items inside. Down to the parsley. Yes, at 3, she knows what fresh parsley looks like.

The problem? It wasn't.

In my attempts to do something with the massive squash and zucchini I'd purchased Wednesday, I found a recipe for a casserole that I tried to bake this weekend. On the ingredient list was fresh parsley. Great, I thought. I have it!

Or not. In case you didn't know, cilantro and Italian parsley are part of the same family, but have much different flavors. Bon Appetite's Web site describes Italian parsley as having a "clean, slightly peppery taste." Cilantro (or corriander) is "somewhere between bright citrus and soapy" and pairs well with spicy food.

How close are they? Look at these pictures I found on Google Images. The top is Italian parsley; the bottom is cilantro. Very slight differences, and if you're suffering from a summer cold as I was, it's difficult to discern a taste.

However, after chopping and cooking the herb in my casserole, it wasn't quite the success I'd counted on. So that's why my zucchini and squash casserole tasted funny!

(Of course, had I read the second e-mail from the CSA this weekend throroughly, I'd have saved myself from an interesting culinary attempt!)


Carol Michel said...

Yes, big difference. What's unfortunate is that the cilantro is ready to pick, but the tomatoes and peppers aren't, so how to combine all into salsa?

Robbie said...

Our CSA has provided us with green peppers for several weeks now, and our few tomatoes are ready to pick this week.