Parsley is considered by some to be a somewhat dull and unexciting herb – that it doesn’t bring that much to a meal. It has fallen far from the days when it was considered one of the main herbs to be used as a garnish, or decoration on a range of different dishes.
But while parsley may have lost some of its luster in the eyes of the adoring public, the truth is that it can still be extremely useful. Sometimes a meal calls for a little subtlety, and having this option to pull from the spice racks is always a great thing to keep in your back pocket.
Not only that, but parsley can also be a decorative item. And far from being boring, it actually has a very crucial ingredient in a lot of meals – adding to pasta, pizza ovendishes, and lots of things from any Mediterranean cookbook or Italian cookbook!
The legend goes that parsley was born when the blood of Greek hero Archemorus was spilled by the serpents devouring him (see, we told you it wasn’t tame!). The Greeks would therefore use this herb to fashion wreaths and in fact, the herb would go on to symbolize death for a long time. This symbolism was retained for a long time. In fact, some farmers during medieval times were reportedly too scared to even grow it!
Meanwhile in Rome, it was used to cover up the scent of alcohol, and was considered a digestive aid.
Parsley comes up a lot in history in fact, though often not for culinary uses! In fact, it is well known today that it does indeed have many health benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it also high in antioxidants. What’s more, is that it may aid with digestion by improving circulation.
Using Parsley for Cooking
The simple truth is that a large number of different meals can benefit from adding a bit of parsley – owing to just how versatile and inoffensive it is. It can be added to stews, sauces, cheese spreads, omelettes, fried eggs, and stock pots.
Parsley has a fresh flavor and is crisp in the mouth and easy to chew. It also goes well with many other herbs, including thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, and more, and can help to draw out yet more flavor from those ingredients.
Add parsley to your sauce pans near the end rather than the beginning, in order to maintain the taste.
Fresh parsley is one of the most available fresh herbs but you should be a bit discriminating when making a purchase. Buy those that are not wilted and that look fresh and springy still. Rinse in cold water prior to using and store in a fridge. You can even keep parsley in a chest freezer to extend its lifespan further.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!
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