|The Herb Society (England) In Praise of Parsley by Guy Cooper & Gordon Taylor|
Today's selection from the bookshelf is a continuation of my review of four small booklets from England and The Herb Society from 1981. This one is In Praise of Parsley. It seems like I never know everything about herbs, I am always learning something new each time I read a book or article in a magazine. In each of these booklets, there is a Preface by a guest author and known writer in England. This one is written by Arabella Boxer who talks about parsley as the best known and most neglected of the herbs. It is always underutilized. I will always thank my mother for making me eat my parsley garnish when we went out for dinner. One of the wonderful things about parsley is it has a large content of Vitamin C. It is usually added to the end of cooking time because it loses its punch if added too early. I like to add some to the beginning and then some at the end of cooking time. That seems to work best for me.
In 1981 the curly form of parsley was the preferred parsley in England. There are three types, curly, French/Italian flat leaved and Hamburg which is grown for its root. Its taste is a cross between parsley and celeriac. Cook it like a root vegetable, grate it and eat it raw in salads or use it to flavor soups, stews and casseroles. I love to see it used as a hedge in an herb garden. Parsley is a true biennial but I usually grow it as an annual. It is a tough seed to germinate. You can soak the seeds for 24 hours in water or urine! or pour boiling water into the holes prior to sowing. You should also not plant them too deeply. An eighth of an inch is sufficient. Even with these tactics, germination takes six weeks and may be as long as eight weeks. I have just taken to buying plants, because we just don't have the indoor space to start seeds ahead of time. It is said that the best and most tender leaves are picked during the first summer. More reasons to grow it as an annual.
Dried parsley is not worth the effort. Freezing parsley in ice cube trays and then in plastic bags or containers is the way to go. Here are two of my favorite recipes using parsley. I'm looking forward to making some of the recipes in this booklet. I went to an elementary school where lunch was homemade! I loved the parsley buttered potatoes. There is a parsley butter recipe and I'll give you my version of it. There is a cream of parsley soup recipe. I think you will enjoy the version of parsley dill soup in the link above. Cheese and parsley biscuits. It is soup and stew weather. So I think these would be a great addition. I'll share these recipes as soon as I try them out. Remind me if I don't!
It was a beautiful day here in the 'Burgh. We did have some frost last night. The nasturtiums finally came to an end! We just had a ton of them this season. Everything else has survived to live another day and we are going to be mild through Halloween. So I hope you have had a great day. I'll talk to you later.