Monday, 25 July 2011

Picturesque Parsley

Petroselinum

The excellency of this herb, accordeth with
the frequent use thereof.
For there is almost no meat or sauce which will not have
Parsley either in it or about it.
The chiefest virtue lieth in the roots; second in the seed;
last and least in the leaves
and yet these are of most use in the kitchen.
Henry Buttes

Parsley is very convenient to the stomach and
and comforteth appetite,
and maketh the breath sweeter.
Thomas Elyot
Curly leaf Parsley
 This is last year's Parsley currently in flower, which I shall save for seed.  It has been the most popular herb in Britain since the 17th century, but was considered poisonous before then.  It is said to be difficult to germinate but a little patience is needed; raise it in modules in early spring with a bit of warmth.  A useful addition to many dishes, parsley sauce being my favourite.  These days plain leaf parsley is much feted as having a better flavour, but to be honest, I can't really tell much difference between them.  But, the curly leaf is certainly prettier in my opinion.  As it gets older the leaves start to get a little tough, so new sowings must be made to see you through to the following year.

It is a tap-rooted biennial and comes in several varieties; Italian or French with a strong, coarse flavour. Hamburg, where the root is used and has a nutty, parsley taste and can be boiled as a vegetable and curly.
It is vitamin and mineral rich and can be eaten fresh to freshen breath.  Leaf infusions are a tonic for hair, skin and eyes.  The leaves are eaten as a vegetable in the Middle East.  The root is used in soups and stews, and seeds are diuretic.  They relieve rheumatism, aid digestion and tone uterine muscles after birth.  Leaf poultices soothe sprains and cuts.  If grown near roses it is supposed to improve their health and scent.

2 comments:

  1. Curly Leaf Parsley reminds me of my childhood, it always seemed to be growing in those strawberry pots in our garden.

    I have it growing in a hanging basket and it's done well there - a slow start but now it's pretty vigorous. I cheated and bought it in a herb plug pack from Morrisons though!

    Did you see my msg that i got the badges - thank you so much x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been growing a flat leaf Parsley from Bulgaria for a few years now. I also of course grow the curly Parsley, everyones fave.

    ReplyDelete

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Hello The short blogging break I intended to re-charge my batteries has changed into a rather more extended one - longer than I anticipate...