Food Topic: Parsley
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Parsley is a very versatile herb that I believe everyone should grow.  It is simple to grow and has the widest variety of uses of all the herbs.  Parsley is a biennial herb, (that means that is grows for 2 years before dying). Parsley grows well in zones 3-5 and prefers full sun, but I have planted my parsley in one of my front flower boxes and it receives afternoon shade and I have no shortage of parsley to use fresh during the growing season and enough to dry for winter use.

 Though there are several varieties of parsley, we are most familiar with curly parsley that is used as a garnish on the side of our plate and Italian or flat-leaf parsley that is bolder in flavor and is my parsley of choice.

 Parsley is one of the best known and most widely used herbs in the world. Since parsley is so versatile, it is great in stews, soups, pasta dishes, rice, salad dressings, stuffings, herbed butter, meat loaf and even mixed into biscuit dough.  Chopped and sprinkled on top of just about any and everything. 
 

Why fresh parsley? One of my reasons is eye-appeal.  People eat with their eyes first and fresh parsley gives a fresh, striking appearance and it shows how much effort I put into the dish.  Another reason is that herbs in general are dark green leafies that contain vitamins and minerals that we need in our diet.

 Adding chopped fresh parsley to pre-packaged foods help to liven up the flavor.

To dry parsley: simply wash and spread out on a clean towel or sheet in an out of the way place for 1 week.  Check each day.  When the leaves are dry and crumble between your fingers, crush leaves, discarding stems and store in a tightly sealed container to use all winter long.  Best used in moist applications and baked goods.

To freeze parsley:  wash and dry (either by rolling up in a clean towel or using a salad spinner), remove stems and chop using a French knife or food processor.  Store in freezer box or freezer zipper bag and use within 2 months, scraping off the amount you need as you go.  Frozen parsley can be used in most recipes, just thaw before adding to baked goods.

I have a great recipe for Parsley Pesto that I will send to you upon request.  Simply email me at office@889JOYFM.com.

 

 

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