Where are you in Missouri? If you have a shop n' save, they usually give you the first bunch of fresh parsley free (at least they did when I lived in St. Louis). Parsley adds color of course and can stretch other ingredients, but really it just brightens the flavor of things, bumping up the freshness factor, kind of like lemon or salt does in certain things. I admit, I only use fresh though when I can grow it in pots in the summer, or maybe if I have a holiday party, I'll buy some in the winter, otherwise it is dry flakes for me. The taste is hard to describe but it has a definite flavor (kind of grassy maybe? when fresh), but I enjoy it.
Parsley also freshens your breath and probably has some trace nutrients that are good for you.
Fresh parsley definitely does have a taste but it is hard to describe. It also has a unique aroma. If you use the dry, rub a few flakes in the palm of your hand then sniff.
My problem is figuring the difference between curly parsly and flat-leaf parsley which is a lot easier to cut off the stems. I usually get it fresh, cut the leaves off (yes, one by one and it takes forever) then I freeze it.
I also use the dry when I have to.
It's very easy to grow, and you can bring it inside for the winter!~~susie.
It is easy to grow....I grow some in a whiskey barrell in the back yard along with other things...
It is great in soups also...
I cut it off, cut the stems off, rinse it off and put it in an ice cube tray with water and let it freeze..Once frozen , I pop the cubes out and put them in a zip lock bag to keep for winter recipes....
Parsley tastes sort of like celery. There are a couple of different varieties out there. There is the curly one which is mostly used these days as a garnish and the Italian one which has more taste. I gorow my own and dry it for winter or those mix in a jar gift items. I use the stems in soup or stew as they have a stronger flavor than just the leaves. The chopped leaves go very well in dumplings and biscuits or added to rice as well.
Please advise me on how to dry fresh parsley and basil to keep through the winter as I have an over-abundance of both growing in planters on my deck.
Use the flat-leaf parsley. The flavor is more intense. It also holds up better in the frige.
Fresh parsley does makes a diffrence in cooking..see these video recipes I' ve done that feature fresh parsley.
Keep in mind these are all made with Italian flat Leaf parsley..not hte curly stuff which is never in my kitchen. Parsley has a grass-like flavor which adds flavors to dishes for certain.
A good place to experiment is with compound butter: 2 sticks of organic butter at room temp, add in 2 cloves roasted garlic, a touch of salt, 2 tbs minced fresh parsley..mix well. Then roll in parchment paper into a log shape and freeze. Then use it for pasta, garlic bread, on top of steak, grilled fish..uses are endless.
Hope this helps!
Chef Keith Snow
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