The Parsley Parcel

Parsley is a biennial herb which means it grows over a two-year lifespan. It can be harvested for use in both years but generally goes to seed then dies in the second year which means you really have to plant it every year. I always thought parsley was difficult to grow so in the past we have grown one or two plants that we bought already growing and planted them in the garden.  We never had enough.

This curly-leafed parsley is a rich green.

This year Charlie had a packet of parsley seeds and planted some in squares 4 and 8. Our parsley is a little crowded because Charlie hates to throw away a good plant and therefore doesn’t always thin plants to the recommended planting allowance.

Parsley seeds are on the lower left.

The parsley started to grow right away and is continuing to look really good so I decided we should cut most of it down and preserve it.

Our parsley is planted too closely together – 1 plant per square foot is optimum.

I cut down big chunks of the parsley and dumped it into our impeccably clean kitchen sink.

I filled the sink with water and lightly swirled the parsley to loosen the dirt.

I carefully fished the parsley from the top of the water so the silt and dirt would sink to the bottom and stay there.

The dirt remains at the bottom of the sink.

I know you can dry it or microwave it or freeze it or even pack it in oil.

I dried the parsley in a salad spinner then let it air dry for a couple hours on a cotton dish towel.

We decided to chop it first. (I hauled out the big Cuisinart to do the mincing.) I pinched off the large stems before dropping the leaves into the work bowl and pulsing until finely chopped.

I used the chopping blade in the food processor which made quick work of chopping the parsley.

Then we froze it in ice-cube trays which we had to hunt around for since we have an automatic ice-maker in the freezer. (The ice maker is one of my favorite inventions, by the way.) Actually we had to buy some ice cube trays at the dollar store (3 trays for $1) because we must have thrown our old ones away. We put a spoonful of parsley in each section and covered it with water.

Cover the chopped parsley with water in ice cube trays or mini muffin tins.

After everything was frozen we popped out the cubes and put them in plastic bags for use later in soups, stews, stir fries, or any recipe that needs a little parsley.

The freezer is stacked with parsley cubes.

Since I didn’t use all the parsley to make cubes I might try some parsley oil or plastic bags of frozen parsley.

What’s in your freezer?

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