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Parsley

Parsley is a cool season biennial herb that is frost tolerant. Therefore, it is hardy and produces seeds in the 2nd year, so it is most often grown as an annual. Although the flavor is best in the first year, we implore you keep some second year plants and let them flower — butterflies love them.

Fresh chopped parsley brings a fresh lively flavor to both cold and cooked dishes. Add it as a last ingredient, and the bright green also provides visual appeal. Parsley is a popular ingredient in herbal blends.

Dried parsley loses virtually all of its flavor, so we like to harvest and freeze any remaining parsley in the fall before the first frosts. The leaves are chopped and wrapped in individual packets of plastic wrap with a couple of tablespoons in each. During the winter these packets are a welcome addition to finish off a soup, chicken cutlets, and lamb shanks. Our favorite way to use them is in Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce. With the parsley in your freezer, clams and pasta in the cupboard, garlic and a bit of white wine or dry vermouth, this is an easy dish to prepare with on-hand ingredients. The stems are frozen separately and used in soups and stocks.

Curly leaf parsley is a pretty edible ornamental in the garden and makes a nice border plant in the vegetable garden. Italian style flat leaf parsley, however, has better flavor and is preferred by most chefs.

Characteristics

Starting Seed

Planting and Tending

Companion Planting

More Information

Visit the Herbs Forum at GreatLakesGardeners.com to get answers to your growing herbs questions. To ask a new question, Register if you haven't already done so(it's free and helps protect the forum from spam), click on Start New Topic, enter your question and click on Post New Topic.

Come join us at our Vegetables forum, Herbs forum and Growing Vegetables & Herbs blog.

You may also appreciate these books on growing herbs.