Parsley is the most common herb found in American markets. There are two main types of parsley, flat-leaf parsley (also called Italian parsley) and curly parsley. 

 

What is Parsley

Parsley (also known as Petroselinum crispum) is a deep green leafy herb that originated in the Mediterranean. 

Types of Parsley

There are four types of parsley

  • Flat leaf parsley –
  • Curly Parsley – 
  • Parsley Root (Hamburg parsley) –
  • Japanese Parsley –

What Does Parsley Taste Like

Parsley is vibrant green in color and has a fresh, slightly peppery flavor. It’s frequently used in Mediterranean dishes.

Choosing the Best Parsley

When shopping for fresh parsley, look for bright fresh perky leaves that are dry (without any wilted, slimy or dark soggy leaves hidden in the bunch). If you hold a parsley bunch to your nose at the market, it should have a light fresh scent to it.

How to Store Parsley

If you toss your parsley in the refrigerator just in the grocery store produce bag, it will often wilt within just a couple of days. Here’s two easy methods for you to use to keep your parsley fresh and perky for a week or longer.

If the parsley still has their root ends on, then you can store them in a mason jar filled about 1/3 with with water. Then place a plastic bag over the leaves to keep moisture in. Or you can wrap the parsley roots in a damp paper towel and then place the parsley a plastic bag, leaving the bag open at one end for the air to circulate. When using either of these methods, be sure to store the parsley in the refrigerator to keep it the freshest for the longest. 

Plastic Bag Method

 

Mason Jar Method

  • Trim parsley stems. Trim 1/4 inch off the bottoms of the parsley stems. Like trimming flowers before placing them in water so they’ll stay fresh longer, we do the same with fresh parsley.
  • Add water to mason jar.Add water to a mason jar with about 1/3 water. Set the parsley stem-side down in the water. About 1-2 inches of the stems should be submerged in the water.
  • Cover parsley with plastic bag. Cover the parsley with a loose fitting plastic bag. The kind you get in the produce section at the market will work just fine.
  • Refrigerate. Place the mason jar in the refrigerator. Replace the water with fresh tap water when the water starts to look a little cloudy. 

How Long Will Fresh Parsley Last

Depending on how fresh the parsley is when you bring it home from the store, as long as you trasnfer the parsley from the store plastic produce bag to either a  mason jar filled with some water or wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed in a plastic bag, the parsley should last up to a week.

How to Wash Parsley

 

To prep fresh parsley for consumption, begin by washing the parsley thoroughly by dunking it in a bowl of water and swishing it around. Although store-bought parsley may be pre-washed, herbs you buy from the farmers’ market or pick from the garden will typically need a thorough rinse to remove any dirt or debris. Once the parsley is clean, shake off any excess water and pat the herbs dry with a paper towel.

 

LINK TO OTHER PARSLEY POSTS (PARSLEY BENEFITS AND PARSLEY SUBSTITUTES)

 

How to Chop Parsley

 

How to Cook with Parsley

Fresh parsley can be added to garnish a dish or to add flavor while cooking a dish. Dried parsley can be added throughout the cooking process, added to marinades, sauces and dressings (like this Ranch Dressing).

  • Garnish – To add parsley as a garnish, just chop and add it at the end of cooking your or sprinkle chopped parsley over the food (like this Chicken Piccata) when you’re ready to plate your meal.
  • Main Ingredient – There are some recipes where parsley is the main ingredient to the dish, such as chimichurri sauce and tabbouleh.
  • Flavor Enhancer – Parsley is a common ingredient in a bouquet garni. Bouquet garni is a traditional mix of fresh herbs tied together and dropped in soups and stews to add a depth of flavor to dishes. I also like to use homemade vegetable bouillon made with fresh carrots, celery, onion and parsley to add to my soups and stews.

Parsley vs Cilantro 

Parsley and cilantro are both herbs and they look very similar, but the flavors are pretty different. Parsley has a fresh light peppery flavor and is used most often in Mediterranean dishes. Cilantro (also known as coriander)has a fresh slightly citrus flavor. It’s most often used in Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and North African dishes. 

 

 

When you’re at the store, it can be difficult to tell the difference between parsley vs cilantro. Here’s what to do:

  • Look at the leaf shape. Cilantro has a rounder leaf, with jagged edges (see the photo above). Parsley has a pointier leaf shape (see the first photo).
  • Smell them. Here’s the easier way to tell apart parsley vs cilantro when you’re at the grocery store: smell them! Cilantro has a very strong smell, with almost a metallic or soapy finish to it. It’s the easiest to recognize (it might smell like salsa!). The aroma of parsley is subtler and more grassy.

 

Recipes Using Parsley

The possibilities are endless for using this fresh herb. Here are some of my favorite recipes that makes good use of fresh parsley.

More Food Guides