Parsley is one of the most commonly used herb for cooking. One can add fresh or dried parsley to the dishes. This article will guide you in drying and storing this herb.
Mostly two types of parsley are used for cooking today – the Italian flat-leaf parsley and the curly-leaf one. The Italian flat-leaf variety is used to give a flavor to many food recipes, and the curly-leaf one is used for garnishing purpose. It might not be practically possible to have fresh parsley for flavoring the dishes. But, by storing dried parsley in home, you can use it anytime to flavor the dishes.
Selecting the Herb
Firstly, select the parsley leaves which are greener and more flavorful. So, choose leaves which are a deep shade of green. Make sure you avoid herb which is wilted or discolored, as it means the herb is either damaged or old.
Cleaning the Herb
Before you start using fresh parsley or drying the fresh herb, you need to clean it. Place the leaves in a big bowl and add cool water in the bowl, then gently stir the leaves to loosen soil or dirt from it. Again wash it this way two times more. Then take out the washed herb in a strainer.
To dry Italian flat-leaf parsley place the fresh cleaned herb on a single layer of a clean cloth. Once it is dry, keep it in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, and dark place. You can also sun dry the freshly-washed herb. Once is it dried, you can store it in an air-tight jar. The sun-dried herb can be stored for longer.
Storing Fresh Herb
The best way to store the curly parsley is to freeze it in an air-tight container. The fresh Italian one can be refrigerated using the Ziploc bags. Fresh Italian variety can last for weeks in the refrigerator. However, the dried parsley should be disposed off after 6 months.
You can use the dried herb whenever the fresh one is not available, but try not to substitute dried one for fresh because, fresh parsley has more flavor to it. While using it for flavoring, take some herb, smash it, and check if it still has the herby smell. If it does not have any aroma to it, then it is old and should not be used.
The curly-leaf parsley has no taste to it, hence you can add any herb that will add the green garnishing touch to the recipe. You can try using the celeriac leaves as a substitute for parsley.
Parsley is known to be one of the most potent disease-fighting spices. It has beneficial nutrient like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, and iron. It helps to fight cancer as it contains volatile oils which have been found to inhibit the growth of tumors. It is rich in antioxidant compounds called flavonoids, and it also helps to improve the antioxidant capacity of the blood. It is also good for heart, as it contains folic acid which is an important nutrient that helps to maintain the cardiovascular health.
So, use the above tips for drying parsley, and use it everyday in your recipes to gain all the above health benefits!