Parsley - Italian
Storage Tips: When purchasing Parsley, look for bright green leaves that are not wilted or yellow.
Parsley is best stored in the refrigerator with moisture. Wrap in a slightly dampened paper towel and place in a plastic bag, or trim the very bottom off the ends and place the whole stems in a tall clear container with 1-2 inches of water in the bottom and place on the top shelf.
To freeze fresh Parsley, wash and thoroughly dry the whole bunch, then remove the leaves from the stems and finely chop. Place the chopped herbs in ice cube trays and fill with water or stock. Freeze, then transfer the cubes to an airtight container and use as needed for up to 1 year.
Usage Ideas: Of the two common varieties of Parsley, Curly Parsley is less flavorful than Flat Leaf (Italian) Parsley, but the two can be used interchangeably to add a slight peppery freshness.
Fresh Parsley can be used in any savory dish. Try adding it to marinades for meat, fish, and poultry, as a garnish for soups, vegetables, and pastas, or even add whole leaves to your favorite salad recipe for an interesting new flavor.
Gremolata, a popular condiment used in Italian cooking to flavor meat dishes is a great way to use fresh Parsley. Combine chopped Parsley, lemon zest, and chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper and serve on top of your favorite meat, chicken, or stew.
Fun Facts: In the Middle Ages, Parsley was used to relieve kidney and liver sickness. Fresh Parsley is also a known natural diuretic thanks to the compounds apiol and myristicin, which can help relieve water retention and bloating (2)
Parsley is actually related to the carrot family. Flat Leaf Parsley closely resembles leafy green carrot tops (11)
Parsley is high in vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron, and studies have shown that chewing fresh Parsley can help cure bad breath (11)
Flat Leaf, or Italian Parsley is often confused with cilantro because of the similarity in appearance. The best way to tell the two apart is by the smell, Parsley should smell fresh and peppery, while cilantro often has an alkaline aroma (5)