Culinary uses: Fresh parsley is added to salads. It is the basic ingredient in the Middle Eastern salad called tabbouleh, and goes well with soups, eggs, poultry, meat and most vegetables. Parsley is a key ingredient in two herb blends: bouquet garni (parsley, bay leaf and thyme) and persillade (parsley and finely chopped shallots).
Harvesting: Given good growing conditions, 3 or 4 leaves may be harvested every week. It is best to remove the older leaves on the outside of the plant, because they will become leathery if left too long.
All the leaves can also be harvested at once, and then dried. In that case, cut the plant back to 5 cm from the ground. New, ready to harvest leaves will appear within 4 to 6 weeks. A final harvest can also be made before the plant flowers in the spring of the second year. In that case, the root requires winter protection (mulch), because the species is not always hardy at our latitudes.
Storage: Parsley loses colour and flavour when dried. It is best fresh or frozen.
- Fresh: Parsley keeps well in a plastic bag stored in the refrigerator vegetable drawer.
- Frozen: Spread large leaf pieces on a cookie sheet, freeze and then transfer them to a freezer container.
- Dried: Spread the leaf pieces out to dry in a warm, dark, well-ventilated location. Once dry, store the leaves in an opaque, airtight container, without crushing them.