This traditional British herb is widely used in cooking and as a garnish, and has a fresh, grassy flavour. The curly-leaved variety is most common in Britain, but flat-leaved parsley is more popular on the Continent and is considered to have a better flavour and texture.
Look for fresh-looking, bright green bunches that show no signs of wilting or discoloration. Parsley is also sold as a growing herb – keep on a sunny windowsill and water well.
Wash and chop finely. The stalks have a lot of flavour and can also be used. Parsley mixes well with other herbs in a classic bouquet garni (the French term for a selection of herbs tied together in a bundle and used to flavour dishes), and goes very well with mint and basil in salad recipes. Add chopped parsley to meatballs, fish cakes, salads, stews and stuffings. Make a delicious parsley sauce to accompany fish.
Keep parsley in the salad drawer of the fridge, wrapped in damp kitchen paper; it should last for around 2–3 days. Alternatively, place the stalks in a glass of water, cover the heads with a plastic bag and store in the fridge to help keep them fresh for 3-4 days. Chopped parsley freezes well.