Because I want to learn how to cook Brazilian foods I need to continue coming back to the essentials of the Brazilian kitchen. Over my years of cooking Brazilian foods I have realized that with the Brazilian essentials at my fingertips you can make any dish smell and taste amazing; and, these basic ingredients are important to making Brazilian dishes perfect. The smell that wafts through the house is mouth watering. I also love having ingredients ready to go. I am never happy when I need to spend half an hour in the kitchen chopping ingredients that I could have prepared at the beginning of the week. Why waste time chopping onions, garlic, parsley, and spring onions every night when I can do it once a week or less?
As I have learnt over the years, the Brazilian cooking essentials usually serve as time savors while adding extra flavor and smell to the food that is being cooked. What more could you ask for?
So, with that, here is another essential for your Brazilian kitchen: cheiro verde, which literally means green smell. It is the green smell of parsley and spring onions chopped and added as seasoning to almost all Brazilian dishes. What a beautiful name for two beautiful ingredients – cheiro verde!
Parsley and spring onions are two ingredients that you can find in almost all dishes. They add flavor, smell, and color to the dishes being cooked and are some of my favorite ingredients to cook with. Open almost any freezer in a Brazilian kitchen and you will likely find chopped parsley and spring onions ready to be added to the dish that is cooking on the stove. Chopping your parsley and spring onions and freezing them saves you time in the kitchen and they can be added quickly at the end, or as a last thought, to a dish.
Recently, my husband and I went grocery shopping. I was looking for a full bunch of parsley to add to some of the vegetable juices we make at home. While on the hunt for my bunch of parsley all I could find was bunches of parsley and spring onions sold together. I kept looking but didn’t find parsley sold as a single bunch. In exasperation I asked my husband to have a look for a single bunch of parsley. Finally, tucked behind the cheiro verde (parsley and spring onions) was a single bunch of parsley. Clearly, parsley and spring onions are married in Brazil and it is not favorable to split them apart!
I like to freeze my cheiro verde in plastic tupperware containers. I fill them up and scoop out handfuls whenever I need to add it to a dish!
Take a look at my simple bean recipe for one easy way to use the cheiro verde to add color and flavor to the dish. I use cheiro verde in almost everything, pies, soups, stews, rice…the list goes on!