Parsley grows best in moist, well-drained soil, with full sun. It grows best between , and usually is grown from seed. Germination is slow, taking four to six weeks, and it often is difficult because of furanocoumarins in its seed coat.Jett, J. W. That Devilish Parsley West Virginia University Extension Service. Last retrieved April 26, 2007. Typically, plants grown for the leaf crop are spaced 10 cm apart, while those grown as a root crop are spaced 20 cm apart to allow for the root development. Parsley attracts several species of wildlife. Some swallowtail butterflies use parsley as a host plant for their larvae; their caterpillars are black and green striped with yellow dots, and will feed on parsley for two weeks before turning into butterflies. Bees and other nectar-feeding insects also visit the flowers. Birds such as the goldfinch feed on the seeds.
CultivarsIn cultivation, parsley is subdivided into several cultivar groups,Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database: Sorting Petroselinum names depending on the form of the plant, which is related to its end use. Often these are treated as botanical varieties,Germplasm Resources Information Network Petroselinum crispum but they are cultivated selections, not of natural botanical origin.
Leaf parsleyThe two main groups of parsley used as herbs are curly leaf (i.e.) (P. crispum crispum group; syn. P. crispum var. crispum) and Italian, or flat leaf (P. crispum neapolitanum group; syn. P. crispum var. neapolitanum); of these, the neapolitanum group more closely resembles the natural wild species. Flat-leaved parsley is preferred by some gardeners as it is easier to cultivate, being more tolerant of both rain and sunshine,Stobart, T. (1980). The Cook's Encyclopaedia. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-33036-6. and is said to have a stronger flavor (though this is disputed), while curly leaf parsley is preferred by others because of its more decorative appearance in garnishing.Growing Herbs: How to Grow Parsley A third type, sometimes grown in southern Italy, has thick leaf stems resembling celery.
Root parsleyAnother type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, the Hamburg root parsley (P. crispum radicosum group, syn. P. crispum var. tuberosum). This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although seldom used in Britain and the United States, root parsley is common in central and eastern European cuisine, where it is used in soups and stews, or simply eaten raw, as a snack (similar to carrots). Although root parsley looks similar to the parsnip, which is among its closest relatives in the family Apiaceae, its taste is quite different.
Culinary usesalad]] parsley]] Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, Brazilian and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is used often as a garnish. Green parsley is used frequently as a garnish on potato dishes (boiled or mashed potatoes), on rice dishes ( risotto or pilaf), on fish, fried chicken, lamb, goose, and steaks, as well in meat or vegetable stews (including shrimp creole, beef bourguignon, goulash, or chicken paprikash).Meyer, J. (1998). Authentic Hungarian Heirloon Recipes Cookbook, ed. 2. Meyer & Assoc. ISBN 0-9665062-0-0. In central Europe, eastern Europe and southern Europe, as well as in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green, chopped parsley sprinkled on top. In southern and central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used as an ingredient in stocks, soups, and sauces. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups such as chicken soup, green salads, or salads such as salade Olivier, and on open sandwiches with cold cuts or pâtés. Persillade is a mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley in French cuisine. Parsley is the main ingredient in Italian salsa verde, which is a mixed condiment of parsley, capers, anchovies, garlic, and sometimes bread soaked in vinegar. It is an Italian custom to serve it with bollito misto or fish. Gremolata, a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, is a traditional accompaniment to the Italian veal stew, ossobuco alla milanese. In England, parsley sauce is a roux-based sauce, commonly served over fish or gammon. Root parsley is very common in Central, Eastern and Southern European cuisines, where it is used as a snack or a vegetable in many soups, stews, and casseroles, and as ingredient for broth. In Brazil, freshly chopped parsley ( ) and freshly chopped scallion ( ) are the main ingredients in the herb seasoning called (, literally "green aroma"), which is used as key seasoning for major Brazilian dishes, including meat, chicken, fish, rice, beans, stews, soups, vegetables, salads, condiments, sauces, and stocks. is sold in food markets as a bundle of both types of fresh herbs. In some Brazilian regions, chopped parsley may be replaced by chopped coriander (cilantro)( ) in the mixture. Parsley is a key ingredient in several Middle Eastern salads such as Lebanese tabbouleh.
Nutritional content and precautionsParsley is a source of flavonoid and antioxidants, especially luteolin, apigenin, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Half a tablespoon (a gram) of dried parsley contains about 6.0 µg of lycopene and 10.7 µg of alpha carotene as well as 82.9 µg of lutein+ zeaxanthin and 80.7 µg of beta carotene.Nutritional Data, Parsley, accessed 2013.08.05 Excessive consumption of parsley should be avoided by pregnant women. It is safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts may have uterotonic effects.
GalleryFile:Parsley bush.jpg|Flat-leaved parsley File:Petroselinum neapolitanum flower.jpg|Flat-leaved parsley flower File:Parsley3.jpg|Immature seeds File:Flor de perejil.JPG|Flat-leaved parsley flower-Flor de perejil File:Parsley flower with pollinator.JPG|Bee pollinator on parsley Petroselinum crispum flower
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