Other than the fennel (I have no idea what to do with the fennel, by the way), the big herb garden winner this year has been the italian parsley. Good because I love parsley, bad because the cilantro on its left and the dill on its right didn’t fare so well because of it. A battle of the herbs, and the Italian won. Why would I be surprised?
I love parsley. I already mentioned that, but it bears mentioning again. I love parsley so much that even as a little kid dining out with my family, I’d end up with a huge pile of green on my plate. It was the first thing everyone did: Once your plate is set in front of you, pass your parsley sprig to Kare. (Note: A very important lesson I learned quickly was that curly raw kale garnishes did NOT taste like parsley). That was me as a kid in restaurants: Parsley piles and restrooms. A restaurant bathroom was a strange and magical place. Open the secret door to the secret room, and a whole new world of decor unfolds before your eyes!
So anyway. Parsley. From my garden.
Here’s what I did to preserve some of the bounty so I could enjoy the taste of fresh parsley all winter – without having to pick up a bundle for a buck or two from the grocery store, wash, snip, clip, and chop.
Cute little frozen parsley flowers! I’ll plop these in with homemade pasta sauces all winter. (You can use plain old rectangle ice cube trays, too. I won’t judge!)
- First, snip about 8 cups worth of parsley leaves
- Wash, drain, and throw the parsley on some paper towels. Pat dry.
- Throw it in your food processer, handy chopper, or, if you’re me, your blender because you still don’t have that Cuisinart food processer you’ve been coveting
- Use your machine of choice to chop up your parsley (or chop the old fashioned way with a knife – it takes more time, but you’ll end up with a slightly nicer, more consistent end product), drizzling about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in as you go (this helps bind the parsley together for pressing into the ice cube tray).
- Measure a tablespoon (or preferred measurement) of the chopped parsley and place it into one of the ice cube tray compartments to use as a guide for filling the rest of them with approximately the same amount (I used the pink flower-shaped ice cube tray from Ikea – only $1.99 and cute as heck!)
- Press the remaining parsley into the remaining ice cube tray compartments.
- Freeze overnight.
- Pull out the tray and pop your little parsley shapes out! Aren’t they cute? Now just put ’em in a Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer until you need them.
Easy chopped parsley to enjoy all winter! Now to figure out what the heck to do with the fennel…
How to Preserve Parsley
You wondered what to do weed with fennel. Fennel makes a good substitute for anise in homemade chai. 1 tbsp crushed fennel or anise (use a mortar and pestle), 1 bay leaf, 20 green cardamon pods, crushed with the m&p, 1 stick of cinnamon, 12 cloves and 1/4 tsp black peppercorns, crushed with m&p, and 1 in chunk piece of ginger in 7 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2 tbsp Darjeeling or Assam tea leaves and simmer for another 10 minutes. Strain and remove leaves, etc. Place back on stove and bring to simmer. Add 9 tbsp brown sugar, or or other sweetener to taste). Warm up 1 cup whole milk and add. Then enjoy.
You should list olive oil in your ingredient list.