Parsley, Per Favore

Flat leaved, or Italian parsley is a culinary marvel.

I am a bit of parsley fanatic. I was always the person who ate the parsley garnish on the plate, back when we didn’t know how good it was for us. (Full of vitamin C and antioxidants) It’s just so tasty. And when I discovered Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad, well, a dish made with parsley as the main ingredient, how could I resist? Here’s a recipe for tabbouleh that also contains fresh mint.

One of my regrets this summer was that I only planted one pot of parsley; I wish I’d planted a ton of it, as it’s more wonderful when fresh. Chopped Italian parsley with butter, olive oil and garlic with a few gratings of Parmesan or Romano cheese makes a heavenly, ridiculously quick pasta dinner.

Italian parsley and pasta: the start of many a quick, delicious meal.

Growing parsley, flat or curly, in the garden or a pot lets you harvest a fresh handful whenever you want, and more will grow from the plant. Now that fall is here, it’s good to remember that unlike the herb of summer, basil, parsley is quite frost resistant. A pot of it near the kitchen will provide fresh herbs through the cold days of fall, and will even survive a snowfall. (But not the whole winter) I’m going to scour the garden centres to see if I can find a few pots of it to keep me going over the next few months.

I find the taste of Italian parsley to be richer somehow, but there is much debate about flat or curly parsley preference in cooking circles. How about you? Flat or curly?

*Per Favore – Italian, for please.

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