Food of the Month: Parsley
Care of Amy Symington
There are much worse things to have stuck in your teeth. According to our green biennial friend’s statistics, you should be kissing the chef who sprinkled your pasta primavera with this fresh, peppery and mild majestic herb.
There are three main varieties of parsley. Curly and flat leaf (or Italian) parsley are two types that are leafy green herbs and are internationally used, while Hamburg parsley is a root vegetable and is the lesser known sibling. Curly or flat leaf parsley is a staple for any of those herb garden junkies out there and can be grown year round provided you bring them indoors when the snow starts to blow. Leafy parsley will stay green up until as late as late fall. Before winter shoos us and our herbs indoors, parsley plants should be kept in a lightly shaded area whether it be in your large luscious garden in the country or in a pot on your quaint urban bungalow’s balcony. Wherever your parsley may be planted you can rest assured because not only is parsley tasty, it will also save the rest of your garden’s goodness by attracting pesky flies, wasps and other insects to itself, and away from damaging valuable vittles. Parsley is a plant’s plant!
Whether you need a little something in lieu of an after dinner mint or are looking to stimulate the old kidneys, parsley is your ticket to mouth and urinary tract bliss. Not only does parsley freshen your bogus breath, but it’s also is great for helping soothe kidney stones and urinary tract inflammations. Of course if it is a severe case of either it’s always best to get examined by your MD, stat! Adding a little parsley to your tea has also been known to help regulate menstruation, as well act as a natural diuretic, antibacterial agent, and mild digestive. It’s also laden with antioxidants and is rich in fibre, folic acid, iron and vitamin C (which helps to further absorb the iron).
Adding parsley to your entree is not just an ornamental trick only used by chefs. It’s an easy way to spruce up any basic soup, stew, salad or sandwich. Curly parsley is milder in its peppery flavour, whereas flat leaf is much bolder. Hamburg parsley has a similar taste to that of celery root. All are used in American, European and Middle Eastern cuisine whether it is as a garnish, a flavour base for stock, in a pesto or sauce or with potatoes and rice. Parsley is a staple in several famous recipes. You may recognize it from such dips and condiments as the Mediterranean’s tabbouleh or Milan’s Gremolata.
Besides its culinary magic and breath freshening virtues, there are several reasons to kiss that chef. Not only is parsley nothing short of a fellow plant hero/heroine, it has some amazing ailment remedying powers and nutritional bonuses to boot! The next time when dining in or out, keep all of these parsley facts in mind when you have that robotic urge to remove your dinner’s thoughtfully placed garnish.