Curly or Flat Leaf Parsley – which is better?

2011
01.21

Parsley

From Herb Combanion Blog

A Kitchen Garden essential

reseeded parsley

Volunteer parsley and chives are up and growing before other herbs.

I’m already thinking about spring. It’s time to order seeds and think about what I will grow in my home garden. One seed I know I will be ordering is parsley. Parsley seed is best started indoors and then planted in the herb garden. Although it is very slow to germinate, don’t give up; don’t be discouraged!

I grow both the curly and flat-leaved variety. They can be interchanged in most any recipe. However, dedicated Italian cooks will swear that flat-leaf parsley (or Italian parsley) is the very best.

Really, I use whichever is available (or which plants need a trim). When curley parsly leaves are small or young, they are milder and sweeter; the full parsley flavor comes as the plant matures. Its flavor intensifies even more after it is chopped for recipes.

1-6-2011-parsley stew
I use my La Chamba pottery to serve Braised Beef and Short Ribs with Parsley.
Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. In fact, a glass of parsley juice would have as much vitamin C as a glass of orange juice. Now, I’m not advocating that you give up your glass of morning sunshine—the idea is probably not a trend setter—but it might help you feel virtuous about eating your garnish.

Fresh herbs add sparkle to any recipe

If this is your first try at growing herbs from seed, don’t give up. Start seeds indoors to get a head start.

When you eventually transplant your parsley, also scatter a few seeds near the plant. The plant will serve as a marker to remind you when the seed does come up.

In addition to the volunteer parsley that comes up earlier than anything I sow, I am starting Italian ‘Gigante’ parsley from seed. I have always had great success with seed I order from Renee’s Garden. Find additional help and encouragement on the Renee’s website. There are some very creative and original recipes there too.

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