I'm Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh growing herbs is a passion I've had for more than 20 years now. The Backyard Patch is my own herb business started in 1995. I specialize in fresh, amazing, organic blended herbs. Those for cooking, tea and bath -- and they are all home-grown and hand-blended. In the last 20 years I have gained a knowledge of herbs and their flavors that I share here.
This biennial herb that flowers only in the
second year is brightly green leafed. The leaves are divided pinnately
into feather-like sections that lay flat like celery leaves or curl into small
frilly leaflets depending on the variety. Parsley has been naturalized throughout
the temperate region needing full sun to part shade. Curly parsley grows 12 to
16 inches tall and can be grown easily as far north as zone 5. The flat
leaf parsley is taller growing 18 to 24 inches and is best for cooking.
So many think is it only a decorative green,
but it is actually Parsley has more vitamin C per volume than oranges. It
also contains Vitamin A, several B vitamins, calcium, and iron. Beyond
this contribution of vitamins and minerals, however, it is not considered
significantly medicinally. Some have made tea with it to use as a diuretic,
but those with kidney issues and those who are pregnant should avoid this
best use of parsley is in cooking and seasoning. Parsley has the ability to enhance the flavor
of other herbs when it is not that flavor filled itself. As a result, it is often used in seasoning blends. I must source out parsley because I cannot
produce enough for all the uses I have for it.
Be wary of store-bought parsley, however, if it seems just “too green.” Parsley has a tendency to brown as it dries,
in fact if you do not bag it after it is crisp-dry it can turn brown over
time. To avoid jars of brown herbs, many
retailers dye parsley green. You can usually
tell if the color seems way too vibrant for a dried herb. They should be a green on the dusty side of
color. When cooking with parsley add
near the end of cooking to keep it from losing all its taste.
does not grow well from seed, so overplant seeds in a hill if you want to try
to grow your own. I generally buy
nursery plants for my parsley and although it is a biennial, I treat it as an
annual for I find the tasty leaves are short-lived in the second year as the
plant strives to flower. At the end of
each season I just remove the plant with the other annuals before or after the
first frost. There are some who say that
they have a parsley for years and harvest from it all season, but what I think
they have is some sort of self-seeding going on because parsley is not
attractive to flavorful in the second year and as with all true biennials it
will die after producing seed.
month we have focused on Chicken Soup as our recipe theme and I found a great
recipe using parsley to keep up with that theme.
Chicken Vegetable Ramen Soup
(6-pound) roasting chicken
cups chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
cup ½ inch cubed parsnip (about 8 ounces)
cups ½ inch cubed carrots (about 8 ounces)
cups ½ inch cubed turnip (about 8 ounces)
tsp kosher salt
tsp black pepper
Tbls chopped fresh parsley
tsp chopped fresh dill
4 packages of Ramen Noodles
and discard giblets and neck from chicken.
Remove and discard skin from chicken.
Trim excess fat. Split chicken in
half lengthwise. Place in Dutch
oven. Cover with 8 cups water and bring
to a boil. Cook 10 minutes. Skim fat from surface of broth, discard fat.
Add celery, leeks, parsnip, carrot and turnip, stirring well. Bring to
boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes
or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the bones, shred with 2
forks to yield 6 cups meat. Discard
bones. Simmer vegetable mixture for 10
minutes or until tender. Return shredded
chicken to pan add salt, pepper, parsley and dill. Cook ramen noodles according to package
directions, omitting the seasoning packet.
Place ½ cup noodles in each of 8 bowls, top each with 1 ½ cups chicken
Parsley Chicken Seasoning
in soups, but also wonderful in chicken salad, egg salad and Chicken casseroles.
tsp red pepper
tsp minced garlic
and store in a tightly lidded jar. Use
about 1 tsp per ½ pound of chicken in recipe.
To find any Chicken Soup
recipe featured this month -
use the search box and type: ChickJan
To find any theme recipe
from this year type: recipe2018