Perhaps the most well known and most used fresh herb, parsley comes in two varieties. Curly parsley is most often used for a garnish, while flat leaf parsley is commonly used in flavoring. Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe. The name “parsley” comes from the Greek word “petros”, or stone, since the parsley plant was often found growing in and among rocks. While it has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, parsley was used medicinally prior to being consumed as a food.
Parsley is a very good source of magnesium and Vitamin K. Magnesium promotes cardiovascular health by improving blood flow, and Vitamin K helps prevent blood clots. Parsley is also rich in many antioxidants, including beta-carotene which has been associated with reducing the risk of diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer.
Storing & Cooking Information
Handling: Rinse parsley as soon as you cut it or get it home from the grocery store. Swish the curly types in a basin of water to remove trapped grit. Shake dry. If your kitchen is cool, parsley keeps well on the countertop, with stems in water.
Storing: Parsley will last up to 1 week wrapped in a damp towel or in plastic bag and put in hydrator drawer of the refrigerator.
Freezing: To prepare parsley for freezing, place small bunches with 4-inch stems in plastic bags, press the air out, and seal. Just slice off or grate as much parsley foliage as you need while it’s still frozen, holding onto the stems to keep the bunch together. Thawed parsley is limp but is fine to use in most cooked dishes.