This familiar herb enhances savory food worldwide, from the Mediterranean to France.
Parsley, which is native to the Mediterranean, must surely be one of the world’s most versatile and well-used herbs – there are few savory dishes that do not benefit from its clean, grassy flavor and vivid green appearance. There are two main culinary varieties of this herb: curly-leafed parsley and flat-leafed Italian parsley. The latter has a stronger flavor, but the two are more or less interchangeable. Parsley is one of the most nutritious herbs, containing large quantities of vitamins A and C, as well as significant amounts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Even the Romans, who ate parsley, knew it was very good for them; believing it relieved drunkenness, they placed bouquets of the herb on the banqueting table to absorb “wine vapors.”
Curly-leafed parsley needs thorough washing to remove any trapped dirt and can be washed and then dried in a salad spinner. Store parsley with its stalks in a container of water in the refrigerator and with a plastic bag sealing the cup and leaves. It can also be stored wrapped in damp paper towels, then loosely sealed in a plastic bag. It will keep for about 4 days.