Another essential – Cheiro Verde

DSC_0174Because 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!

DSC_0170All you need to do with the parsley and spring onions is finely chop them up. Mix well together. Place in a freezer proof container and leave them in the freezer until you need them.

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!

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9 thoughts on “Another essential – Cheiro Verde

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  4. Saskia, I came across, A Taste of Brazil last night. This is a great resource. My husband is Brazilian, and the World Cup starts Thursday. I am going to make Feijoada with the collard greens, rice, Farofa, Pao de Queio, Brigadero, Quindim and of course Caipirinha’s. This is my first attempt without my mother in law by my side to guide me. Thank you for your Blog, I will be using it often. I want Thursday to be A Taste of Brazil for my husband and our family.

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  5. Hi Saskia, I came across this description of “cheiro verde” but I thought I should let you know that cheiro verde is actually not the mixture of parsley and spring onions as you mentioned… it’s a herb called “Chervil” in English.
    Some supermarkets in Brazil sell cheiro verde as parsley and spring onions combined, due to shortness of the real deal, but if you really dig up the actual components of cheiro verde, you will notice it’s not exactly the same. The leaves are a bit similar to parsley.
    I’m Brazilian but have been living in Australia for almost 20 years and have FINALLY found chervil for sale at a local super market, and as soon as I tasted it, I nearly did back flips!! The taste I had been craving for 2 decades! And I have finally found the real deal, not the “parsley and spring onions mix” that I had been using instead.
    Hope this is helpful.

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