Part cookbook, herbal, and gardening guide, these posts offer a collection of food-related notes on growing, harvesting, and prep methods. They’ve evolved over thirty-three years of combining my commitment to eat as much wild and home-grown food as possible with an over-full life of unrelated passions and pursuits. I hope something among them will enrich or add ease to your own cooking, eating, and maybe gardening life.
Parsley is nutrient dense, but it still needs to be used in a vegetable quantity rather than a garnish to get significant nutrients. With that in mind, recipes should be designed for it to be used as a vegetable. Of course, an informal vegetable soup of whatever is at hand never needs to be designed, just be mindful before adding a cup of minced parsley to a delicate sauce recipe.
When cooking with parsley, adding it at the end makes a beautiful bright green color, and retains some live enzymes, but putting it in the pot for the last 20 minutes of cooking will render the minerals more bioavailable. Incorporating most of it earlier and reserving some for raw food & bright color to finish allows for both.
When growing as a food crop, the flat leaf Italian variety is best. One planting of 9-12 sq ft, with one plant per foot, is plenty per person for the year (assuming rich soil). It will also grow pretty well in pots.
Once the plants are well-established, pick the under leaves regularly, to cook either immediately or to go in freezer. Since they’ll be cooked, minimal if any rinsing is necessary. If these outermost, and soon-to-be-underneath leaves are not picked, the plant will abandon them anyway, so pick about once a week.
For raw use, such as the green juice in the last post, pick the newer leaves and stems, closer to the center, where they are free of dirt.
Parsley can be immediately frozen in plastic or glass containers. Mincing the stuff for cooking and keep whole what is intended for juicing is an easy to tell the clean from the cookable at a glance.
Laurie Goodhart and her husband co-founded and operated two certified organic artisanal goat fromageries, Nettle Meadow in Warrensburg, NY from 1990 to 2005 and Domaine De Courval in Waterville, Quebec from 2006 to 2017. She created and trademarked the multiple award-winning cheese, Kunik. For more about her how her life experience brought her to develop time-saving ways to eat as much nutrient-dense food from her local environment as possible, see this previous post
Goodhart lives in upstate NY and continues her work as a professional artist and avid home gardener. Since 2007 she has devoted most of her studio time to an extensive body of work collected under the concept, Remnants And Residents Of A Lost Sanctuary Of Aphrodite.
Laurie can be reached through her website, lauriegoodhart.net