The Easiest Way to Preserve Parsley

published Jul 19, 2015
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(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

I once read that parsley’s flavor is the “summation of all things green.” I’d say that’s a fitting description of this classic, lively, summer herb. Parsley is one of those herbs that produces exponentially, provided the proper growing situation. If you’re growing some in your garden, you most likely have a lot of it on hand. Lucky for you, there’s a time-saving way to preserve it. No chopping required.

(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

Make Frozen Parsley Roll-Ups.

Of course, if you’re fixing a crisp salad, opt for fresh parsley leaves, but if you’re making a parsley-driven sauce or you’re brightening up a savory stew, frozen parsley is a suitable choice. Parsley retains its bright flavors and a lot of its texture once it is frozen. It is particularly vibrant if you wait to add it during the finishing stages of a dish.

At this point in our herb gardening series, we’re all familiar with preserving herbs in ice cube trays. Making “herb roll-ups” is the simplest method for preserving parsley, and it involves something most of us already have tucked away in our kitchen drawers: freezer bags.

Take a generous bunch of washed and dried parsley leaves (the flavorful stems are fine and encouraged, too) and place them in a freezer bag. Tightly press the parsley down to the very bottom of the bag and, applying firm pressure, squeeze and roll the bag to the top. Seal the bag, wrap a rubber band around the newly formed cylinder, and freeze it. When a recipe calls for parsley, simply open the bag, remove the “herb cigar,” and chop off what you need.

(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

Dehydrate Your Parsley

If you’re limited by space in your freezer, parsley also holds a lot of its flavor and shape when it’s dried. I prefer using a food dehydrator since the process is quiet and efficient; it dries the leaves so evenly. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can always go old-school and gather your parsley stalks, tying them together. Hang them in a well-ventilated, cool space, until the leaves dry.

Whichever technique you choose, be sure to wash and thoroughly dry your parsley before you dehydrate it.

Parsley is my favorite herb to use in the kitchen. These are two of my favorite preservation methods, but I’m always looking for new and creative ways to preserve parsley. What are your favorite ways to capture parsley’s lively character?

(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)