I bought it as a one-inch seedling and planted it among flowers in my big pot outside the door. It has been the most faithful of herbs for a full a year.
I’ve grown flat-leaf parsley (sometimes called Italian Parsley) before in the midwest. I’ve never had it last this long. I’ve been giving this wonderful northern California weather the credit and it turns out I’m right. The truth is that in this mild climate parsley is a biennial. That means my plant will last one more year!
That’s a good thing because I use it in so many dishes. The nice thing about it growing near by is that when I need even just a little bit I don’t have to go to the market and buy a whole bunch. I just need to snip and chop only what I need.
I think all cooks have their own special uses for parsley. I find I use it in just about everything except sweets and desserts. I use it a lot with garlic. They seem to love being together. It seems to me that parsley is becoming more popular. Over the past few years I’ve seen parsley featured in such dishes as parsley pesto, parsley soup, parsley salad and so on.
I’d like to encourage all of you to add a pot of fresh parsley to your cooking supplies. Unless you’re a mega-gardener, I suggest you buy a seedling plant at your local nursery rather than a packet of seeds. They are rather tricky to grow from seed.
What I do is this: I put my seedling plant into a mix of soil and compost in a good sized pot. Then I water it once a week and keep it in lots of sunshine. Once it gets going good (about 6 to 8 inches tall), I start using it by clipping the outer edges.
As long as I’m already talking about how easy it is to grow parsley, let me add that garlic is super easy too. About a month ago I took a couple of old garlic cloves that were just starting to sprout. Rather than throw them in the compost, I stuck them down in the dirt next to the parsley. One of them is taking off and the second one (on the left) is a little slower.
During this past month the center of the plant has been spiking up. It’s as if it wants to bloom and create seeds. I’ll let it get about the size you see in the picture above. Then I’ll clip out those big center stalks.
Those stalks will be a special treat for our chickens. Yes, the “girls” love it. They fight each other for parsley. I like to think we benefit from their treat. No, I can’t see green parsley flecks, but I do believe their eggs have been flavor enhance by that parsley. Their eggs, with that bright golden center, are the best ever.
You may not be using parsley as a treat for chickens, but I hope you’re a regular user of the good green stuff. In the comment section tell us – what is your favorite way to use parsley?
This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature at Beth Fish Reads. Click the button below and it will take you there.