By late December, the vegetable garden seems so quiet. Most of the beds are hidden beneath mini hoop tunnels or mulch, and the cold frames are generally shut tight against the cold. Yet, it’s also a productive space with those structures sheltering homegrown veggies and herbs. When I first got serious about gardening in my mid-teens, I was all about growing herbs – basil, thyme, lavender, oregano, and parsley. Mind you, in my naiveté, I didn’t think that anyone actually ate parsley, but rather used it as a pretty green garnish on plates and serving dishes. Oh, how wrong I was!
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Today, parsley is one of my must-have herbs – just behind basil – and if pushed, I’ll admit that Italian parsley is my favourite. I do grow curly parsley in abundance, but most of that goes directly to my Lebanese mother-in-law for her incredible tabbouleh. Personally, I find the Italian parsley more aromatic and flavourful, and I use it liberally in many winter dishes, including my favourite carrot parsley salad.
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Growing parsley: Aromatic carrot-parsley salad
A side dish for four, or a non-guilty pleasure for one!
- 6 to 7 big carrots, garden grown if possible, and grated
- Two big handfuls of Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Mix the carrots and parsley in a big bowl. Then grab a small bowl and mix:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- The juice from one lemon – about a 1/4 cup
- A sprinkle of salt
- A few grinds of pepper
Taste the dressing and add more olive oil, sugar or lemon juice if you so desire.
Pour the dressing over the carrots and parsley and mix well. Ideally, I like to allow this salad to sit for at least a half hour – or longer in the fridge – but you can also dig right in.
Are you growing parsley for winter harvesting?