Italian parsley, also known as Petroselinum crispum, is a plain flat leafed parsley. It has darker green leaves than curly leafed parsley. The flavor is a bit stronger and better than curly parsley, as well a less bitter flavor. It is best to add during the last few moments of cooking for the best flavor. You can also sprinkle it right on salads, soups, fish, meat, etc.
Italian Parsley is a great garnish and very nutritious. It is rich in vitamins. Besides cooking with parsley, some like to juice it, along with other ingredients. Great nutritional boost.
If you want to have lots of fresh parsley leaves, you will want to replant your seeds each year to get the maximum benefit. The second year, the flower heads are great for attracting beneficial insects. The leaves in the second year however, are said to not be as good.
You can sow the seeds of italian parsley directly into the garden after danger of frost has passed.
If there are no heavy frosts in your area, you can sow the seeds from fall through early spring. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of fine soil. Make sure to keep moist until the seed starts to sprout. It will be about 14-21 days , depending on the soil and the weather conditions. Once growing a little, you can transplant the seedlings to be about 6 inches apart.
Plant italian parsley in full sun. They will grow to about 12-18 inches tall.
You can harvest Italian parsley throughout the growing season. Its great to use it fresh in your recipes. You can cut several stems and they will keep in water in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. They may also be frozen or dried.
Italian parsley is different from regular curled type parsley. You can use it in dressings, an ingredient in pesto, poultry, soups, etc. Its an attractive garnish as well. Learning to grow parsley in your herb garden can be rewarding.
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