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Parsley

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Preview of Parsley

Available

July 15 - October 31

Harvest Period

July 15 - October 31

Parsley is native to the coasts of the Mediterranean region. While it has been cultivated for several thousand years, parsley was not originally used as a food. In fact, the practice of employing it as a garnish goes far back into history. The ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also to decorate the tombs of their deceased.

What to Look For

Choose fresh parsley that is deep green in color and looks fresh and crisp. Avoid bunches that have leaves that are wilted or yellow as this indicates that they are either over mature or damaged.

Storage

Fresh parsley should be kept in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag. Wash it just before using as it is delicate like spinach.

If you have excess flat-leaved parsley, it can be dried and preserved by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. Once dry, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place. Curly leaved parsley is best preserved by freezing in airtight bags. Although it will retain most of its flavour, it will lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes that require cooking or baking. Frozen parsley is easily chopped or crumbled into other foods.

Nutritional Information

Parsley contains volatile oils that inhibit tumor formation, act as an antioxidant, and neutralize some types of carcinogens. Parsley is also rich in flavonoids that increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood. In addition, parsley is an excellent source of three vital nutrients that are important for the prevention of many diseases: vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid. As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy parsley’s legendary ability to cleanse your palate and your breath at the end of your meal.

2 tablespoons of parsley contain 4 calories, 0g fat, 1g carbohydrate, 0g fibre and 0g protein. This amount of parsley also makes up 17% of the daily requirement of vitamin A and 22% of vitamin C.

How to Use

The crisp, tight foliage of the curly parsley is the most attractive variety to use fresh as a garnish, but the flat-leaved Italian parsley has a superior flavour when cooked.

Parsley is a mainstay of all Mediterranean cuisines, adding flavour and colour to any savoury meat or vegetable dish.