Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is part of the large carrot family, Apiaceae and is best known as either curly leaf or flat leaf, which is also called Italian. Many cooks prefer to use flat leaf parsley claiming it has better flavour and softer texture than the tougher curly form. Native to Mediterranean Europe, parsley is usually grown as an annual in home gardens.
Parsley is rich in vitamins A, K and C along with minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants. Its leaves are chopped as a garnish or to add to stews, stocks, soups and white sauce however, to get the full health benefits of parsley, discover recipes that use large quantities. It is delicious blended with nuts, garlic, oil and Parmesan cheese as a pesto (combine with basil or use as a substitute for basil). It is the main ingredient of tabouli, salsa verde and gremolata.
Parsley seed can also be used as a flavouring. Hamburg parsley is a type of parsley that is grown and harvested for its tap root, which is long and white much like a parsnip.