Tag Archives: Drying

Preserving Parsley: 4 ways

With all the rain that fell here in Northern California, the herbs that survived the winter have exploded! Last year, I waited a little too long, and my parsley bolted before I could savor a single leaf. Rude, nature, rude. This year, February or not, I decided to make the most of my parsley before it goes to seed again.

Parsley plant
Babe, you need a haircut.

All told, I pulled about three packed cups of stems and leaves from my one plant. I left the young growth for later, and I’ll be revisiting it every couple of days to watch for buds.

Method 1: Drying

img_2998

This one’s easy. Rinse and dry the parsley, then tie 10-15 stems together with kitchen twine, leaving a long tail. Tie a loop in the tail, and hang it somewhere that gets plenty of airflow, but not a lot of light. Mine is in the kitchen near a north-facing window. It will be ready to crumble in about a month.

Method 2: Freezing

img_2999

For this, take rinsed and dried parsley, and remove the stems. (Save them for later.) Chop to your preferred texture – I went with halfway between chopped and minced. Then, grab an ice cube tray, and put about a tablespoon (loosely packed) of parsley into each section. Cover with water, and freeze for 24 hours. Store in the ice cube tray, or in a freezer bag until needed.

Method 3: Pesto

This time, I made a sunflower seed pesto, but pesto is gloriously flexible. Pretty much any soft stem herb, and any nut or seed plus a little oil and you’re in business. I was getting toward the end of my trimmings so I didn’t get as much as I would lave liked. You can easily double or triple this recipe if you have more parsley, or want to add in other tender green herbs. This makes a pretty thick pesto, too, so if you prefer yours a little thinner, you may want to thin it out with more oil or a little water.

Makes about 1/2 cup, or 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (packed) parsley
  • 1/4 cup raw, hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

img_3001

  1. Remove the stems from the leaves to make a cup of parsley leaves, packed pretty well.
  2. Add the parsley, garlic, salt, and sunflower seeds to the food processor, and pulse a few times to help chop.
  3. Add half the olive oil, and all of the lemon juice. Run the processor until everything makes a rough paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly.
  4. Add the second half of the olive oil, and any extra if necessary. Continue processing until you have a smooth paste.
  5. Let rest for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for  up to a week, or freeze until needed.

*Nutrition Info at the bottom of the post

Method 4: Infusion

img_3002

Still have all those stems? Use them to infuse vinegar or oil. Choose a neutral flavored oil or vinegar (I went with simple white vinegar), add stems to a jar, and cover. Let rest for at least two weeks. Use in pasta or salad dressings, pickles, or vinegar cocktails.

Good luck with your almost-spring bounty!

Nutrition Info for parsley pesto:

Amount Per Serving (2 tbsp)
calories 180
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18 g 28 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 12 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 82 mg 3 %
Potassium 156 mg 4 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 2 g 5 %
Vitamin A 25 %
Vitamin C 42 %
Calcium 3 %
Iron 8 %