Parsley – the world’s most popular herb … provides a large range of valuable nutrients (over 80!) … so some fresh parsley should be in our diet every day … it is packed with vitamins C and K …
|Curly leafed Parsley
This workhorse of a herb … and can go in just about any dish … its mild, grassy flavour (fresh, green, woody notes) will bring out other main ingredients, yet enhance the dish and give it a little burst of colour…
|Flat Leafed variety
…use flat leaf parsley for cooking, as it stands up better to heat and has more flavour … but curly parsley really is just as good – use the stalks – extra flavour in them.
My favourite … herby bread … lots of chopped parsley, some spring onion greens, a little garlic if liked (or lots!), cayenne sprinkle, lemon juice … butter – mix together …
… cut a baguette in slices (right through) … spread with the butter mix, sandwich together, wrap in foil … and bake – then open packet to crisp top … and serve … an easy addition to any meal, or party snack …
Parsley, a hardy biennial of the Carrot family, only came into Britain in the 16th century … it usually dies after the second season, but the seeds will have spread around and so the garden will retain new plants.
There is also root parsley (the Hamburg Root Parsley) … this is common in central and eastern European cuisine …
It was greatly venerated by the Greeks and Romans … for a Greek athlete or Roman poet there was no greater distinction than to be awarded a chaplet of parsley.
A chaplet is a garland or circlet … or a string of 55 beads – one third of the rosary number – for counting prayers …
Nicholas Culpeper (1616 – 1654), the botanist, herbalist, physician and astrologer, noted that parsley grew plentifully on Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park and Tothill Fields (Westminster Abbey area).
|Potatoes with parsley and garlic
There were numerous ‘medicinal’ ideas for the use of parsley – but we will stick with its benefit of being rich in the vitamins C and K …
|A bed of curly parsley set off
by some pansies
… at this time of year for colds, or for general good health … check out the various health benefits ascribed to these two vitamins … let alone parsley’s other benefits.
My parents grew beds of parsley for sale after the War … so I guess the Ministry of Ag (agriculture!) … promoted it as nutritious for its war-ravaged population.
|Tabbouleh - Lebanese salad
I have looked up parsley in a book (originally published in the 1800s) and thought you’d be interested in some other snippets: apparently it is good for animals too, apart from flavour for the meat, it helps to cure foot-rot in sheep …
|Ham with white, parsley sauce
Today … it is used in numerous dishes … parsley white sauce, Italian Gremolata (parsley, garlic and lemon zest mix), French Persillade (chopped garlic and parsley), Lebanese Tabbouleh and in many ways as a garnish … mixed in, sprinkled on top, or sprigs to decorate – which so often get munched by family … we do!
|Fennel, Celery and parsley salad
Now it’s the dark days of autumn/ winter here … we all need parsley … so let’s remember to add it to our meals … or regularly eat a few stalks …
Fennel, Celery and Parlsey salad, or with salad mixes, including rocket, lamb’s leaves etc … then dress with vinaigrette of your choice, served with shavings of parmesan cheese – sounds delicious to me!
Just remembered this planter marker at Herstmonceux Castle ... not sure the Parsley looks so good - maybe she wants a divorce already?
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