We pulled up our beautiful, gorgeous, healthy, vibrant parsley today. Why would we do this to our stunning, laugh-at-freeze-and-drought plant? Because we are creating a landscape, not just a garden, and one of the tenants of landscape design is repetition. A standard front-yard landscape may have only three different types of plants, but they may be used over and over in different areas of the yard. With an edible landscape, we usually want to eat more than three different types of plants, so we find ways to modify the rules of landscape design.
In this case, our parsley was living in a low wooden bed underneath the old swingset. Along the length of the swingset are four other low wooden beds, and for this season, they’ve been planted with peppers – five peppers per bed. Four beds of peppers with one bed half full of parsley looks, well, odd. So we removed the parsley, added five more peppers, and created repetition – and cohesion – under the swingset.
Don’t cry too much for the parsley, though. Big, green, vibrant and fragrant, it went home with our volunteers to be made into tasty morsels. Do you have some parsley in your yard or garden? (Or local grocery?) Consider using some to make:
- pesto – substitute it for the basil
- tabbouleh – a wonderful summertime salad made with bulgur
- chimichurri with it – an Argentinian sauce for grilled foods
- fry up sprigs – your choice if you want to dip them in a light batter first
- ravioli – chop it up, mix with some ricotta and egg, salt and pepper, and fill ravioli with it
- toss it into your next omelet or frittata
- vinaigrette (or make a green goddess dressing)
- how about a cream of parsley soup? or in a falafel?
- add it in to your regular salad, potato salad, meatballs, you can stick some practically anywhere you want a little – or a lot – of green
One last note: There are three cultivars of parsley – curly, flat-leaf, and root. All are biennials in our temperate climate, and this was the second year for this parsley plant. The cultivar we were growing was the curly variety. The root variety will create a nice, edible taproot you can eat raw like a carrot, or cook like a turnip. Look to central and eastern European dishes to see it featured. Flat-leaf is more commonly listed in today’s Western recipes, but curly and flat leaf can be used interchangeably. Middle Eastern recipes are more likely to use the curly variety. Most people think flat-leaf is more flavorful, but if you grow your own, you’ll see that there’s plenty of flavor in the curly variety as well.
So, bye-bye parsley, and bon appetit stomach!
Lisa Centala and Edible Landscape team
The Peach Fever lunch on June 26 is sold out but class is open!