2.23 Parsley.

Botanical name: 

Photo: Petroselinum crispum 14. Latin name: Petroselinum crispum.

2.23.1 Growing parsley

Also see http://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/parsley.html

From: Linda Kovacs (kovacsla.vnet.ibm.com)
Parsley is a biennial. Plant seeds early in the spring (they're a little slow to germinate). The first year, you get plenty of leaves, on fairly long stems that come from the crown of the plant. The second year, you get a couple of leaves and a long bloom stalk, which looks very much like Queen Anne's Lace (they're related.) If you let it go to seed, some of the seed will grow the next year.

To have a steady supply of parsley for cooking, you should plant two years in a row. After that, it will self-sow if you let it.

Parsley's easy to grow - reasonable soil, sun, and water if you have a long dry spell. The only pest I ever had was leaf miners, and the damage was minimal.

2.23.2 Harvesting parsley

From: Linda Kovacs (kovacsla.vnet.ibm.com)
Pick leaves from the plant, stem and all. The first year, the more you pick, the more leaves you'll get. The second year, there are only a couple of leaves, and no more will grow, because the plant is working on bloom and seeds.

2.23.2 Using/preserving parsley

Also see http://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/parsley-1.html

From: Linda Kovacs (kovacsla.vnet.ibm.com)
The flat "Italian" parsley is the most strongly flavored. If you're going to use it for cooking, this is the kind to get. Curly parsley is much prettier on a plate, but doesn't have as much flavor. Use it mostly for garnishes.

Parsley is, of course, a classic garnish. A sprig of curly parsley on a plate really dresses it up. You can also chop parsley and sprinkle it on meats, vegetables, etc.

Parsley is also a classic soup herb. When you're making stock, parsley is one of the "aromatic vegetables" that's recommended to make the flavor richer. For this, use stem and all; in fact, this is a good place to use stems that you've cut off from pieces used for garnish.

It's a wonderful addition to a cooked vegetable, especially green beans or peas. Tends to accentuate the flavor of the vegetable.

It's good in salads, too, adding a different "green" texture and flavor. It's a bit too strong to be used by itself, for most people's taste.

Parsley can be chopped and dried, or chopped and frozen in ice cubes. The cubes are great added to soup or a sauce. The dried parsley can be added as is to a dish to be cooked or used as a garnish on soup, or soaked in a little bit of water and sprinkled on top of already- cooked food as a garnish.