What is parsley?

Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss

Carrot Family (Umbelliferae or Apiaceae)

Parsley  is  a herbaceous plant with aromatic flat or curly leaves used as a herb or for garnish. Parsley is a native of the mediterranean region but is now widely cultivated worldwide.

There are several cultivated varieties of parsley but the most common are the curly leaf parsley and the Italian or flat leaf parsley. There is also the less common root parsley that looks like a parsnip and is used as a root vegetable. (see photo below)

The Flat Leaf Parsley

The flat leaf parsley is also known as Italian parsley. It’s more pungent compared to the curly leaf parsley and is mostly used in European, Middle Eastern and American cuisines.

Culinary Use of Flat Leaf Parsley

Flat leafed parsley has more flavour compared to the curly leaved types so it’s mostly used in flavouring cooked foods.

It’s normally added to food, at the end of cooking. It can be added to meat, poultry and fish dishes, vegetables, Pasta, sauces, soups, stews and broths.

Flat leaf parsley is also used as an ingredients in bouquet garni (a bundle of fresh herbs) used to flavour stocks, soups, or sauces.

It’s used in the famous tabbouleh salad and in salsa verde. Salsa verde is a condiment made out of parsley, capers, anchovies and garlic.

Flakes of dried parsley are also sold as a herb but unlike thyme or rosemary, parsley loses most of it’s flavour and aroma after being dried.

The Curly Leaf Parsley

Curly leaf parsley is mostly used to garnish foods. The leaves can be used whole or chopped and is mostly added after plating food. It can be added to boiled or mashed potatoes, boiled eggs, salads, soups or sandwiches.

The Root Parsley

Here is a photo of root parsley, also known as hamburg root. It looks like  a parsnip and and is most commonly used in Central and Eastern European cuisine.

Photo courtesy of Markus Hagenlocher [GFDL ), CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Culinary Use of Root Parsley (Hamburg Root)

Root parsley is used as a root vegetable. It’s used in soups, stews and broths but can also be eaten raw like a parsnip or carrot. It can also be grated or chopped and added to salads.

Nutrition of Parsley (wiki)

Fresh parsley leaves have about 87% water content by weight, (Traditional Oven) just like other fresh vegetables.

100g (3.5 oz) fresh parsley leaves provides the following: 36 caloriesCarbohydrate 6.33g;  Protein 2.97g; Fat: 0.79g.

It also provides the RDA for following vitamins:  Vitamin A (53%); Beta carotene (47%); Foliate (B9): 38%; Vitamin C: 160%;  and Vitamin K (1562%).

It also provides the RDA for the following minerals: Iron (48%); Magnesium: 14%, Potassium: 12% and Zinc: 11%.

It’s a good source of flavonoids, and antioxidants especially luteolin and apigenin.

How to Buy Parsley

Choose bunches with bright green leaves that are healthy looking and with no signs of wilting or yellowing.

Availability of Parsley

Parsley is available all the year round.

How to Store Parsley

Wrap the bunch of parsley  in a paper towel and then put in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. It will last about one week.

myfavouritepastime.com Last Updated: November 29, 2018

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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