Due to its mild flavor, parsley is frequently used as a visually pleasing garnish. You may be surprised to learn there are different types of parsley besides the decorative one on your entrée. Each variety is healthy, tasty, aromatic, and has unique culinary applications.
1. Flat-Leaf Parsley
Flat-leaf parsley is a versatile herb that may be used as a garnish and a seasoning in cooking. Home cooks can enjoy the bright flavor of this parsley by growing it in their garden or window box.
Flat-leaf parsley requires moderate growth conditions. They have difficulty growing in extremely hot situations and are susceptible to freezing. Potted plants thrive near windows with filtered light, no drafts, and warm interior temperatures. These plants require frequent watering once a week, but any excess moisture should be allowed to drain.
2. Curly-Leaf Parsley
Curly-leaf parsley’s flavor varies depending on the plant, growth environment, and age. It has a more ruffled appearance than flat parsley. It can be grown as a decorative border plant along a sidewalk, in front of your food garden, or in containers.
This parsley is simple to grow and thrives with proper maintenance. When planted in containers, curly-leaf parsley requires watering at least every other day during hot, dry conditions. Although trimming is not required, regular harvesting keeps plants vigorous, compact, and healthy.
3. Japanese parsley
Japanese parsley is a unique herb frequently used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Because heat tends to bring out its bitterness, it is typically added raw to soups, salads, and stir-fries. The large and tender trefoil leaves add a subtle flavor to dishes.
In mild climates, the plant thrives as a hardy perennial with a low growing habit. The shrub blooms with pale pink flowers in the middle of summer, and its heart-shaped, ruffled leaves sprout from purple and bronze stalks. Japanese parsley can be grown in USDA zones 4 to 7 in a moist, shaded, well-drained location, preferably beneath trees.
Japanese parsley dies in the winter but self-seeds, so another crop should emerge in the spring. Some people believe Japanese parsley is invasive, so it is recommended that you trim them before they set seed if you want more control over where they grow.
4. Hamburg Parsley
Hamburg parsley, often known as root parsley, is a type of garden parsley with tuberous roots. It is a Mediterranean native cultivated for many years as a culinary herb. This biennial plant in the Apiaceae family is related to many other popular herbs and vegetables, including dill, fennel, parsnip, and carrot.
The plant forms a rosette of leaves with long petioles in its first year. The leaves are pinnately complex and feature three-toothed leaflets. In its second year, it blooms with tiny, star-shaped flowers that range in color from yellow to yellow-green.
The large, white taproots of Hamburg parsley are the real treat, but the leaves can be picked and eaten fresh or cooked just like regular parsley. When eaten fresh, the roots taste like carrots, but the flavor resembles mild to strong parsley. The strong taste softens and becomes sweeter when the roots are roasted or added to soups or stews.