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Kip of the Week: About Parsley. July 3, 2008

Posted by sarawr in herbs & spices.

If you’re planning to try to make the Turkish bean salad I posted last week [ed. note: two weeks ago, for I am lazy] — which is really good — you’ll need a lot of parsley. Not a bad thing in itself, since most markets will sell you a bunch as big as a grapefruit for pocket change. But the question is how to make it last, since if you just toss it in the vegetable bin, it’ll turn limp, dark and evil within a few days.

After eons of putting up with this I made my prize-deserving discovery: What makes parsley sicken and die are the bacteria in the dust that sticks to it. With a couple of easy, respectful steps you can make parsley (and its flavor) last much longer.

1. Run a big bowl of cold water and put some ice in it.

2. Pinch the small bushy branches of the parsley off the coarse main stems. (The French, who have names for everything culinary, call this épluchage.) Throw them into the cold water as you go.

3. Stir the contents of the bowl till all the parsley gets really wet. Leave the bowl undisturbed for twenty minutes or half an hour. Then scoop the parsley carefully out of the water, trying your best to leave the grit at the bottom of the bowl. Put the parsley in your salad spinner basket.

4. Spin it as DRY as you can.

5. Store the washed, dried parsley in a plastic container with a tight lid — a quart yogurt container is perfect. It should stay absolutely fresh for a week and okay for a few days after that. If you still have any left after ten days, throw it in your next stockpot, and put a note on your fridge that says COOK WITH MORE PARSLEY.

/KC June 2008


Stay tuned; I’ve got a nice roast post coming up and next week will feature a two-parter on New Mexico food by Kip.



1. authorial lacuna - July 4, 2008

I should have mentioned that, even after rinsing, drying and containing, the parsley should still be refrigerated. — /KC

2. Anne - July 17, 2008

According to M’s mum, It lasts longer if you don’t wash it until you use it (she’s been growing parsley since the 1940’s…admittedly in England though, maybe the dust here is less destructive?) 🙂

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