Parsley is a bright green herb, used as both a seasoning and a garnish, which adds a clean, fresh flavor and a decorative color to almost any dish. This fresh herb is available in two varieties: a curly-leaf type, which has a mild taste, and a flat-leaf type, known as Italian parsley, which resembles cilantro and has a more pronounced pungency than the curly-leaf variety. Select healthy, fresh-looking bunches with bright green color. Before storing, rinse and shake dry; wrap in paper towels, enclose in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Although dried parsley is available, the fresh herb is preferred.
To chop or mince fresh parsley:
Holding the stems, gather the leaves into a tight, compact bunch. Using a chef's knife, cut across the bunch to chop the leaves coarsely. Discard the stems, unless using in a long-simmered dish. To mince, gather the chopped leaves. Steadying the top of the blade, rock the knife in an arc until desired fineness is reached. For other herb varieties, see basil, bay leaves, borage, bouquet garni, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, epazote, fennel, fines herbes, garlic chives, herbes de Provence, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, summer savory, tarragon, and thyme.