Holding dinner parties for friends was a real trend back in the 70’s and 80’s (hmm… showing my age). We loved trying the latest dish to impress – thank you Margaret Fulton. I remember the dark brown crockery, the not so good wines and even the odd Fondue night. Good times 🙂
Parsley was always that piece of greenery put on plates for decoration – so French! No one ate it, it was just pushed to one side.
How things have changed!
Dinner parties are still fun but home cooking these days has certainly taken on a whole new worldly sophistication while at the same time being casual and simple.
The health benefits of parsley are enormous and the versatility of this little herb is not to be ignored.
Parsley is growing beautifully now that it’s spring here in the southern hemisphere. Even when living in an apartment, you can grow parsley on your balcony. Here’s our parsley beginning to take off while companioning happily with spring onions.
Health benefits of Parsley
Parsley is highly nutritious, containing lots of Vitamins K, C and A as well as folate and iron. It’s a rich source of antioxidants, can be helpful as a diuretic which helps with high blood pressure issues and the folate and other B vitamins are important for heart health. Traditionally, it’s been used as an antidote to bad breath (especially garlic breath) because of the high chlorophyll contact, and can help to reduce allergy symptoms. Parsley is alkalising so can assist in reducing inflammation, especially in the joints, and you’ll feel healthier with more energy.
A delicious and healthy herb to add to so many dishes!
My suggestion is to add parsley liberally to as many foods as possible.
Here’s 8 ways to use parsley for better health:
Chop up fresh parsley and add to all your salads for a hit of iron, especially when eating vegetarian
Who doesn’t know tabbouleh! A popular dish made with tomatoes, chopped parsley, mint, bulgur wheat, and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. You can vary the dish by adding garlic or lettuce, or use couscous or quinoa instead of bulgur.
The Italians do parsley so well. There’s so many pasta dishes to choose from, and parsley is usually featured in most of them, especially the tomato/seafood recipes.
You can add fresh parsley to any egg dish – scrambled, poached, fried, baked, quiche, fritatta. It adds a nutrient dense impact to the amazing egg, which is such a valuable protein. Here’s a delicious breakfast to try:
A classic Italian condiment with simple ingredients of parsley, lemon zest, garlic and (optional) anchovies. What’s not to love! Finely chop all the ingredients and use for a zingy addition to so many dishes. It goes beautifully on top of fish, many pasta dishes and as an accompaniment to slow cooked meat dishes such as veal/lamb shanks and ossobuco.
You don’t need to use basil to make up a delicious pesto. Try some parsley instead for a more peppery flavour for a quick and easy pasta dish. Add in some extra pine nuts, or use pistachios or cashews and parmesan for a different balance of flavours.
In Soups and Stews
Throwing a handful of parsley in at the end of cooking a nutritious soup or slow cooked meal is a way of adding a hint of freshness with the double impact of nutrients that are not broken down in the slow cooking process. Try this highly nutritious soup:
Parsley is the perfect accompaniment to any veggie – there, I’ve said it. Whether your vegetables are boiled, baked, mashed, raw, grated, blanched or sauteed, parsley is any vegetable’s friend. Add to everything!
After removing the leaves, the thicker stems of the parsley can be used – never throw them away! We have a bag in the freezer where the stems are kept to use when making stock. Chop them up and add them to your favourite stock (chicken, fish, beef, vegetable) for all the health goodness and flavour.
Whether you grow your own parsley in your garden or in a pot, or you buy it fresh at the markets, parsley is an invaluable herb to be included in your food choices – it’s a must!
With you health in mind,