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Herbs Flat Leaf Parsley



One of the most versatile herbs used in Middle Eastern cooking is, without a doubt, parsley. It is commonly used as a garnish, but more popularly used as a spice. There are two main varieties of parsley: curly leaf and flat leaf. Curly leaf is probably the most recognizable, as restaurants often use it as a garnish on their plating, but both varieties are widely used in cooking.

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How to Use Parsley in Your Cooking

Because of its light scent and fresh taste, parsley can be used in anything from soups to sauces to vegetables. In Middle Eastern cuisine, parsley is one of the main ingredients in dishes such as tabbouleh, a salad using bulgur, mint, parsley, and vegetables, and is the main herb used in stuffing for grape leaves. As a garnish, parsley can be chopped and sprinkled in soups, hummus, or mixed with ground meat, such as lamb or can gussy up baked corned beef and vegetables. More times than not, you will find parsley as the most common herb used in Middle Eastern recipes.

Buying Parsley

One of the greatest things about parsley is that it can be found almost anywhere, fresh or dried. It is also easy to grow and perfect for the home garden. Fresh parsley is perfect for that last-minute addition to a dish, providing texture, colour, and a burst of clean flavour. Though it takes twelve pounds of fresh parsley to make one pound of dried parsley, dried parsley is still the most commonly used form of the herb. Fresh is always best, but dried will do in a pinch.

Dried vs. Fresh

One advantage of using dried parsley over fresh is when it comes to storing the herb. Fresh parsley only lasts about two weeks when kept in the refrigerator. Sprinkling the leaves with a small amount of water and storing in a plastic bag usually works best. On the other hand, dried parsley stores for a much longer time. As long as dried parsley is kept in an airtight container it will retain its flavor for approximately one year.

Storing Parsley

Another method for storing parsley is freezing it. This is the best method if you have parsley in your herb garden and end up with more than you can use. Parsley can be frozen chopped and stored in freezer bags, or it can also be chopped and mixed with water and frozen in ice cube trays. Either method will keep up to six months.

With its flavour, scent, colour, and texture, parsley is the perfect addition to any Middle Eastern dish. Parsley is great for experimenting in the kitchen and ​for getting creative with its use in various dishes. In Middle Eastern cuisine, you can never go wrong with parsley.

Health Benefits of Parsley


While parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food, it is often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize that this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative garnish that accompanies restaurant meals. They do not know that parsley is actually a storehouse of nutrients and that it features a delicious green and vibrant taste. 

The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat-leaf parsley. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety. There is also another type of parsley known as turnip-rooted (or Hamburg) that is cultivated for its roots, which resemble salsify and burdock. Parsley belongs to the Umbelliferae family of plants, and its Latin name is Petroselinum crispum.


Fights cancer. Parsley contains volatile oils that have been found to inhibit tumour formation in animal studies, particularly those in the lungs. The oils are not only cancer-fighting, but they’re also known to neutralize carcinogens including those found in cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke. Parsley also contains folic acid, which has been found to help prevent colon and cervical cancers.

Antioxidant-rich. Parsley contains beneficial antioxidant compounds called flavonoids. These compounds combine with oxygen-containing molecules and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. Parsley extracts have also been found to increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood in animal studies.

Good for the heart. The folic acid in parsley is a critical nutrient in cardiovascular health. Specifically, folic acid helps convert potentially dangerous homocysteine into harmless molecules, a process that protects blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Protects against rheumatoid arthritis. A study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that people who ate the least amount of vitamin-C-rich foods (like parsley) had a three times greater chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those who ate the most.