Everything You Need to Know About Parsley by Emily Weeks, RDN, LD

Parsley is one of the most common herbs and is used in a wide variety of cuisines. It has a clean and peppery taste, with a slight earthiness. Parsley is used to brighten flavors and add a pop of color in dishes such as soups, salads, and pastas. In addition to its multitude of culinary uses, parsley is also very nutritious and contains many important vitamins and minerals and boasts many health benefits.

Everything You Need to Know About Parsley

Why You Should Eat Parsley

Fresh parsley is low in calories, yet high in vitamins such as A, K, and C. Vitamin A and C are essential for eye and skin health, as well as boosting the immune system. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to reduce inflammation in the body. Vitamin K is necessary for proper blood clotting and supports bone and heart health.

Types of Parsley

There are two types of parsley commonly found in grocery stores and farmers markets: curly leaf and flat leaf (also referred to as Italian parsley). Curly leaf parsley is mostly used for garnishes that add a nice touch of color to dishes to make them more appealing. Flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor, is more tender, and added to many dishes to enhance the flavor profile.

How to Pick Ripe Parsley

When shopping for fresh parsley, look for bunches that are bright green without yellowing. Choose parsley that isn’t too wet or soggy, and be sure to shake off as much water as possible before placing it in the grocery store’s plastic produce bag.
Dried parsley can also be found at the grocery store in the spice aisle and is a great way to add a pop of color and flavor to pasta sauces and baked dishes.

How to Store Parsley

Fresh parsley can be stored on the countertop in a glass of water. Be sure to trim the bottom of the parsley stems at an angle as this increases the surface area for the stems to absorb water. Change out the water daily. Fresh parsley can be stored like this for a week or two.
To store parsley in the fridge, wet a paper towel slightly, wrap it around the parsley, and place in a sealable plastic bag. Parsley will keep for about a week this way but will have a more wilted texture than if stored on the counter at room temperature.

Ideas for Using Parsley

Parsley is often used as a garnish on mashed potatoes, risotto, rice pilaf, and meat-based entrées like baked chicken or fish. It’s the main ingredient in salsa verde, a condiment made out of parsley, capers, and garlic. Gremolata is another parsley condiment made of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.
Parsley is used in cuisines around the world. It is the main ingredient in tabbouleh, a traditional Middle Eastern salad that also contains bulgur and tomatoes. Chimichurri is a traditional Chilean sauce that contains parsley, oregano, and cilantro blended with vinegar, garlic, onion, and oil. Parsley’s flavor is mild and neutral enough that it can be added to virtually any dish to enhance its flavor and nutrition.

New Recipes Featuring Parsley

Ready to get in the kitchen and start using parsley? Check out these new recipes that feature the flavorful green herb!
 Parsley Dill Ricotta Dip
This dip is all about letting the flavor of herbs shine! Made with the mellow, creamy flavor of ricotta cheese, this dip is perfect for celery, carrots, cucumbers, or whole grain crackers.

 Parsley and Cilantro Chimichurri Baked Cod
Zesty and fresh chimichurri sauce tops the mild white-fish cod. Try serving this dish with a side of brown rice, quinoa, or baked veggies for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

 Parsley Lemon Chickpea Salad
This side salad is Mediterranean inspired and full of beneficial nutrients and fiber. Parsley and onion add a nice kick of flavor alongside the brightness of lemon juice in this dish that is quick and easy to put together.
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