Herb and Spices – Parsley
A wonderfully versatile and easy to use herb!
Common Name: Parsley
Latin Name: Petroselinum crispum
Parts of the plant used – Leaf
Native to the Mediterranean, parsley is biennial but is usually grown as an annual in the South, as it may not make it through a cold winter. Parsley has bright green leaves and is also in the same family as dill and comes in flat and curly leaf varieties. Parsley is easy to grow and care for and likes full sun and nutrient-rich soil. Plant about 8-10 inches apart. Parsley prefers the middle as opposed to extremes of temperature or watering so not too hot or too moist. Snip off close to the ground starting at the outside stalks when harvesting.
Linked to anti-cancer activity and contains a flavonoid myricetin, which has been show to prevent skin cancer. Also beneficial along with other green herbs to add to marinades to prevent cancer causing heterocyclic amines generate when meat is grilled at high temperatures. Has anti-inflammatory properties and is high in Vitamin K which can help prevent bone loss
Can be used fresh or dried and often used as a garnish. Parsley is easily added to soups, stews, salad dressings, marinades and egg-based dishes and can lessen the need for salt.
Pairs well with:
- Potato dishes
- Tomato sauces
- Most any cooked grain or bean – rice, quinoa, pasta, lentils, black beans, etc
- Egg dishes
- Chewing the herb can eliminate bad breath
- Curly parsley is used mostly for garnishes and flat leaf is traditionally used in cooking
- The name parsley comes for a Greek word meaning rock celery as it thrives on rocks and walls