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5 Things You Didn't Know About Parsley

5 Cool Things About Parsley

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Parsley is so much more than a plate decoration. Check out some of these cool things about parsley that might make you fall in love with this unassuming herb.

1. Parsley Seeds Are Slow Starters

Parsley
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So many people believe that parsley can't be grown from seed. The truth is, it takes such a long time, it seems like they aren't going to germinate.

Expect parsley seeds to take at least 6 weeks to sprout. They also have to remain moist during that entire time, so don't forget they are there! Many gardeners like to speed up germination by soaking seeds in warm water before sowing.

Another tip for handling the tiny seeds: mix the tiny seeds with coffee grounds, to make them a bit easier to work with. Also, as with any slow growing seed, plant some radish seeds in the same row, so you can remember where these slow growers are located.

2. Parsley Makes A Great Sacrificial Herb

Caterpillar eating parsley
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Hold on, before I lose you, parsley is the perfect herb to give to the insects. That's right. I want you to plant parsley, so the insects that normally bother your garden, have something to eat. This is an organic gardener's trick, and it is fabulous!

I always plant some parsley just for the swallowtail caterpillars to eat (parsley is a favorite), and then plant some for my own use. Try an outer perimeter of parsley. That way, the edibles stay safely inside the area, insect free.

3. All Parsley Is Not The Same

Curled Parsley
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Not only is parsley more than a plate decoration, it also has food pairings! Curled leaf parsley with the pretty, ruffled leaves, actually has the most mild flavor, with an almost citrus quality to it. Curled leaf parsley is best used in cold dishes. I like it sprinkled on top of my recipe, and blended right into the recipe as well. Try it chopped fine, with any mayonnaise mixture you are using too.

Flat leaf parsley, has flat leaves as the name suggests, and has a much stronger taste. This taste holds up very well in hot dishes, and is usually found in Italian based recipes.

Of course, both of the parsley varieties can be used interchangeably, but it's fun to experiment.

4. Parsley Doesn't Dry Well

Frozen Herbs
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You probably have tried to dry parsley, or heard that someone else has, with not much luck. The oils of parsley are delicate, and often dried parsley is little more than tasteless leaves.

To preserve the bright, green flavor, freeze parsley either whole, or in water. Then use it directly from the freezer in your recipe.

This parsley is not pleasing as a finish to the top of a dish, but the freshness is almost exactly that as a fresh tasting sprig. I actually blend parsley, basil, and sweet marjoram in a little olive oil, to make an Italian seasoning. Then, I freeze these ready-made flavors to use as needed.

5. Parsley For Beauty

parsley seeds
© Ryusuke Seto

You didn't think I would finish talking about parsley without sharing a natural remedy, did you? Actually, this one is pretty well known in the beauty world.

Make a tea from fresh parsley seeds, and use that cooled tea to soak a cotton pad in. Lie back and place the soaked pads on each eye. Relax and enjoy reduced puffiness around the eye. This tea is very soothing and great for that delicate skin around the eye.

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