Italian Parsley has flat, dark green, glossy leaves with frilly edges. The flavour is quintessentially green; clean, fresh, and bright with a slight aniseed note. It is also called Continental or flat leaf parsley.
Italian Parsley is an extremely versatile herb and is often used to complement other herbs and spices, rounding out their flavours and adding depth. It brings brightness and complexity to stews, casseroles, and soups, and it's a star ingredient in many French and Italian recipes. It matches tastefully with garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, cheese, steamed vegetables, salads, mushrooms, eggs, fish, poultry, meat and other herbs. It's a vital component of fines herbes, minestrone, tabbouleh, herb butter, and a variant of pesto.
Parsley is a traditional breath freshener and aids kidney function. This makes it a useful support to detoxification and issues involving the kidneys and bladder.
It can be frozen by roughly chopping and placing in a zip-lock bag, as is or with olive oil added. Flatten the contents of the bag to make it easy to break into portions. Freeze overnight. An ice cube tray can also be used by pouring a little water or olive oil over the chopped herbs inside the tray.
Culture and History
As the name suggests, Italian Parsley is native to Southern Europe. It is the most widely cultivated herb in Europe, and has been popular throughout history. The ancient Greeks associated it with Hercules, the strongest of all mortals. They gave it to their horses to make them run faster.