Parsley, the most commonly consumed fresh herb in the United States, is a herb that is familiar to all. For many decades it has been the primary herb used as a garnish in restaurants. In America, the curly leaf varieties are grown almost exclusively. However, the plain leaf variety is known to have a more pleasing flavor and is the primary herb grown in most other countries. Often it is the only thing left on the plate at the end of the meal, when it may actually have been the most nutritious item.
A biennial growing up to 2 feet in height producing flowers in the second year; it can reach about 1 foot in the first year before flowering. Parsley prefers partial shade. Keep moderately rich soil fairly moist. The herb will stand all winter but it is best to protect it under mulch in severe weather. This is a common herb because it has proved so adaptable to all climates. The ultimate taste of parsley is quite dependent on the soil and climate conditions. The herb is generally treated as an annual providing tasty fresh leaves only in the first year.
The herb is a biennial; It likes a good soil and a little shade. It does, however, require plenty of space: they say that one plant should never be allowed to touch another. The herb is quite easy to using window boxes filled with good compost. It is important to keep the box moist and feed the plants occasionally with liquid fertilizer. In late fall, may be potted and brought inside. This will provide fresh parsley for the winner as well as creating a pleasant decoration.
Parsley, being a biennial, flowers in the second year
Fresh young leaves, are an excellent addition to any salad. Parsley salads, such as the Middle Eastern tabouleh, are delicious. Curly parsley is used as a garnish but still has flavoring properties. A great deal of the best European cooking is unthinkable without parsley. It is always included in a bouquet garni, and, finally chopped, it forms the basis of a fines herbs mixture. The good cook uses it frequently so that one comes almost to associate the presence of chopped parsley as a sign that the food has been prepared with care and feeling. It is also the basis of a maître d’ hotel butter, garlic butter, and many other preparations. To make delicious herb butter, take 2 tablespoons of finely chopped, fresh parsley leaves and knead them into a quarter cup of softened butter.
Harvest the herb by cutting the stems an inch or two above the ground and dry quickly on paper. If fresh parsley wilts clip an inch off the lower stems and place a bunch of them in a glass of cold water; loosely cover leaves with a plastic bag, and chill. It will perk up in no time. Wash the herb and shake off the excess moisture. Wrap in damp paper towels; place in sealed plastic bags for up to a week in the refrigerator.