Worried that I was committing a master gardener faux pas with my curly parsley enthusiasm, I dutifully planted flat leaf parsley the following spring. It was good, but was it better? Not necessarily. Here’s why: curly parsley has become a perennial (technically: a self-sowing annual) in a partly-shaded area of my front flower garden. Flat leaf parsley needs more sun, and doesn’t survive the winter here in Minnesota.
Here’s the part of my front-yard garden where curly parsley grows:
This was after a major picking; still plenty left. We’ll keep picking it fresh until it’s covered with snow, as it is cold tolerant. It always starts slow, and every year I wonder whether I’ll get any, but it’s come back consistently without replanting, every year for at least 5 years. My front yard flower and herb garden supplies me with many little things that end up having a major impact on our cooking: parsley, dill, chives, oregano, thyme, fennel seeds, even cilantro/coriander. And it all comes back year after year with little effort on my part.
Last winter was the first time I tried drying any parsley; initially it didn’t seem worth it since it has less flavor when dried. But Adam fell in love with its subtle flavor—particularly for soups and egg dishes—and ran out by the end of 2012. This year, I’m drying a much bigger supply for him.
Added bonus: curly parsley is one of the favorite foods of the black swallowtail caterpillar. Plant some, and you are virtually guaranteed to attract some swallowtails to your yard. Our kids have raised a handful of them every summer for several years.
Do you grow parsley? Would you ever use dried parsley for anything?