There’s something refreshingly healthy about cooking with fresh herbs. Parsley is a perfect example — it’s the savior of many a boring platter and by far the most recognized and widely available of all fresh herbs.
Whether you buy it at the market or grow it in your garden or on your windowsill, parsley adds delicate fragrance and a clean, fresh taste to appetizers, soups, sauces, veggies and main dishes. You can even drink it as a tea and add it to other beverages.
You’ll find curly as well as Italian flat-leaf parsley available year-round. They’re used interchangeably, but remember that curly parsley is milder in flavor and works well as a raw garnish or added to a dish at the end of cooking. Flat-leaf parsley is stronger in flavor, thicker and heartier. It’s best for longer cooking, stewing and simmering. Enjoy these tempting, creative ways to use parsley:
Add to cottage cheese along with chives, garlic and olive oil.
Add to goat cheese or ricotta cheese, or any favorite soft cheese.
Toss chopped parsley into cooked whole grains. I love this simple Millet with Onion and Parsley. opens in a new tab
Garnish Italian dishes like pasta, lasagna or eggplant parmesan.
Chop and stir into bean dips, hummus, guacamole and pesto sauce. Try our delicious Linguine with Grilled Shrimp and Arugula Parsley Pesto opens in a new tab.
Add to soups and stews while cooking, then sprinkle a bit more over the top before serving.
Add to salsa or pico de gallo. Enjoy this heavenly Steak with Piquant Italian Salsa Verde. opens in a new tab
Finely dice and add to hamburger meat. Cook as you normally would.
Add to fresh green salads and chopped vegetable salads. Here’s a recipe for Sautéed Catfish with Parsley and Tomato Salad. opens in a new tab
Add to a smoothie or make juice with parsley, apples, carrots and kale for a refreshing pick-me-up.
Mix melted butter or olive oil, lemon juice, minced fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Use as a sauce for grains, fish or vegetables.
Add to vegetable sautés and roasted vegetables like this Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Parsley. opens in a new tab
Got company coming over? Parsley Toasts with Caviar opens in a new tab will charm your guests.
Here’s a unique recipe for Tuna Tabouli opens in a new tab - for fun, use both mint and parsley.
And here’s a recipe for Salmon with Parsley-Horseradish Crust. opens in a new tab
Make parsley tea by steeping 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley in 1 cup hot water for 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy hot or cold.
Be sure to purchase fresh, crisp green parsley; there should be no yellowing. Wash when ready to use. Wrap in a paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
If you prefer, treat your parsley like a bouquet of flowers. Trim the stems and place in a glass filled with water. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Be sure to change the water every couple of days.
Does parsley please you? Got a favorite recipe or a great idea? I’d love to know.