Parsley

Parsley (Petrosenlium crispum)

This fresh tasting herb can often be thought of as just a garnish. Don't forget to use this delicious herb in your cooking though as it adds a unique light flavour.

Flavour

Parsley has a light and fresh grassy green flavour

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 at heat, because heat destroys the flavour.

Parsley can be added to dishes with garlic to help soften the dish and alleviate any issues that may occur with bad breath.

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 germinating seed which has caused superstition over the years of it being the devils plant. A way to speed up germination is to store the seed in refrigeration for 2-3 weeks. When you’re ready to plant, soak the plant in hot water to soften. When sowing don’t plant too deep.

Parsley should grow in sun though in a hot climate where it is best to grow in shade.

Picking the leaves regularly promotes further growth, to assist further you should pick the leaves from the outside of the plant.

Parsley is a great companion plant and will aid the growth of many plants including tomato, beans, onions and asparagus. 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.

History

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

Parsley is a symbol of great strength and festivity, it was so treasured for its ability to give strength that it was fed to chariot horses. It was believed that chewing the curly parsley would lessen the effect of alcohol meaning they could drink more. It was said that parsley infused into a person for a long period of times could remove moles, freckles and oil skin.

Wine made with parsley was an esteemed aphrodisiac.

It is 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 has been used in conjunction with chopped onions and boiling water to cure gallstones. For an ear ache, try soaking a cotton bud in a white wine infused with parsley oil and using it as an ear plug.

It has been used to increase fertility in females and virility in males. By drinking 2-3 cups of parsley tea a day, then applying the tea on skin it is said to decrease cellulite. ‘Heart Wine’ has been given for many years for disorders with the heart and cardiac weakness, it is made up of white wine vinegar, white wine and a bunch of parsley.

Common Questions

Does parsley contain iron?

Although parsley has typically been only considered as a garnish it does in fact contain iron. Having an increase of parsley in your diet can boost your iron intake.

Is parsley good for dogs?

Yes, many dog owners feed their dogs parsley for a variety of reasons. One is that it freshens their breath curing that classic dog breath.

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 flavour than the flat leaf variety. The two can however be substituted for each other.