Parsley, the flat leaf variety

This is my first in a series on fresh herbs.  I chose parsley to start~ seems to be the most commonly known.  Fresh parsley is available year round in grocery stores, yet it’s easy enough to grow.  It can even winter over here in NC in an uncovered raised bed.  Late Spring through June it grows like a weed.  As the recipe developer for Shenandoah Growers, I experimented with & learned each herbs characteristics.

There are two varieties-curly & flat leaf.  I prefer Italian flat leaf as it’s not nearly as strong plus it has a softer, more delicate appearance than curly parsley.  This herbs aroma is fresh and welcoming.  Added to dishes, it gives a twist of pungency.  Unlike cilantro, whose stems add crunch & flavor, parsley stems are a bit too overpowering in flavor and should be avoided.  Either compost or use as a deodorizer for the garbage disposal.

Parsley & Parmesan dusting over Sausage Leek Tarts

 

As a caterer, I often use a handful, fanned out, as a serving platter liner for apps, vegys & meats.  The green is a nice contrast while its’ texture captures any food residue which keeps the tray looking nice even after all the food is gone.  Try sprinkling a few chopped Tablespoons worth over pasta and appetizers. You’ll see and taste the difference!  Scatter on an empty plate before adding cooked entrees or appetizers for an upscale presentation.

Fun facts & ideas

  • Chervil is a good stand in for parsley
  • Plays well with most herbs, basil in particular.
  • Brighten the winter indoors with a bunch in a vase by the kitchen window
  • Roll 2T. finely chopped into one pie crust dough before fitting into pie pan.  Bake as directed, then add quiche or other savory mixtures.
  • Mix together 3T. finely chopped with 1c. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese. Mound 2T. portions onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, bake 5 minutes in 350° oven.  Makes a flavorful, very unique “cracker.”

Mango Salsa w fresh parsley

  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • ½  t. cumin
  • ¼ t. sea salt
  • ½ t. coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 orange, cut into sections
  • ¼ c. Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

Blend mangoes, onion, pepper and spices.  Cut the meat out of each orange section and dice.  Add to the mangoes and squeeze juice from each section over all.  Toss with parsley.  Makes a great accompaniment to grilled meats & fish.  Also fun to dig in with chips.

Contact me if you need other fresh parsley focused recipes.