The parsleys, curled and flat-leaf alike, make themselves at home in our gardens every year about this time, if not a couple of months earlier. They are cool-season champions, rewarding the gardener in the kitchen and the landscape alike.
Easy to grow, parsley of either kind is beloved of the beginner and the expert as well. Good garden soil, well-drained and with plenty of sun, wind, and water — occasional fertilizing with a slow-release organic product like Arbor Gate Fertilizer and your parsley is off to a great start. Be sure to harvest the flat-leaf variety frequently to promote leaf production.
Curled parsley is seen quite often as a border plant — its deep green color and lush growth make a dramatic accent around the edge of any garden. And flat-leaf or Italian parsley is equally easy to grow, has the best flavor of the two, and can even tolerate a certain amount of dappled or high shade. If it’s happy, it will re-seed and show up again next year.
As to cooking with parsley, in Southern Herb Growing by Madalene Hill and Gwen Barclay, Madalene has a specific paragraph on the subject: “Many cookbooks say ‘parsley optional’ or ‘garnish with parsley,’ but do use parsley copiously. Chop it very fine. To do so, rinse it ahead of time, giving it time to dry before chopping.”
She continues: “For jaded appetites, you might take 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley and combine with an equal amount of finely chopped fresh spinach. Work these emeralds into as much butter or margarine as they require. Salt to taste.”
A fine way to up your game for Christmas Dinner!