Parsley

Parsley (Petrosenlium crispum)

Parsley is often thought of as just a garnish. However, it lends a unique lightness to many dishes during the cooking process that you can't find anywhere else. 

Flavor

Parsley has a light and fresh grassy flavor. 

Aroma

Parsley has a slightly lemony aroma.

Pairing

Parsley is the perfect addition to many classic sauces, soups, stews, fish, meat, poultry, egg dishes, potatoes, salad and stuffing. Parsley is typically added toward the end of cooking, because heat destroys the flavor.

 

Parsley can help to counteract the bad breath you get from foods made with garlic.

 

Growing

Parsley needs a good rich soil and requires regular watering.

 

If you’re not growing the plant for the seeds, it is best to remove them as soon as you can to ensure the plant puts all of its effort into leaf production. Parsley is a slow starting seed which has caused superstition over the years of it being the "devils" plant. One way to speed up growth is to store the seed in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. When you’re ready to get gardening, soak the plant in hot water to soften. When sowing, be sure to not plant parsley too deep.

 

However, parsley should grow in sun and if in a hot climate, it is best to grow in shade. Picking the leaves regularly promotes growth, but be sure to pick leaves from the outside of the plant first.

 

Parsley is a great companion and will help the growth of many plants including tomato, beans, onions and asparagus. Unfortunately, growing with lettuce and cabbage can hinder growth.

 

In the first year of life, parsley will grow leaves. The second year it will only grow flowers. Because of this parsley should be treated as an annual herb. 

 

History

There was a superstition that only pregnant women or witches could grow it.

 

Parsley is a symbol of great strength and festivity. The herb was treasured for its ability to give strength so much so that it was fed to chariot horses. It was also believed that chewing curly parsley would lessen the effect of alcohol. It was also said that if parsley was infused into a person for a long period of time, it could remove moles, freckles and oily skin.

 

Wine made with parsley was an esteemed aphrodisiac.

 

It was said that if you give parsley as a gift to somebody, it will wither before they have a chance to use it. (It is best to let them steal it from your garden). 

 

Medicinal 

Parsley is useful as a digestive aid and natural breath freshener and contains lots of vitamin A, copper, and magnesium. Additionally, it has three times more vitamin C than oranges, and twice the iron than the same amount of spinach. A tea made from parsley is a traditional remedy for colic, indigestion, and intestinal gas, and as an herb helps to purify the blood and fight cancer.

Common Questions

Does parsley contain iron?

Parsley does contain iron and having an increase of parsley in your diet can boost your iron intake.

 

What is the difference between curly and flat leaf parsley?

Curly parsley is often considered a garnish and is said to have less, or a more bitter flavor than the flat leaf variety. The two can however be substituted for each other.