By Catherine Bardeaux, MS, RD/LD – CPN Registered Dietitian
In 1991, the National Herb Association designated the first week of May as a celebration of herbs and all that they do. Each year, the association selects an herb to highlight. For 2021, parsley receives the spotlight.
Why eat herbs?
Consuming herbs is a great way to include vitamins such as A, K and C in your diet. They are also a great source of polyphenols, which is a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These polyphenols guard against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more! If you’re looking for a way to get in more nutrients in your diet and meals, consider adding herbs!
Why choose parsley?
Parsley, also called Petroselinum crispum, is a popular herb that is used in many different types of cuisine around the world. It has an earthly and mildly sweet flavor. There are many ways you can use parsley, including:
- As a garnish on pasta or soups
- Added to salads
- In egg bakes or frittatas
- In a pesto with pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese and fresh parsley
- Added to smoothies for a nutrient and flavor boost
- On homemade pizza
- In homemade bread
- In homemade juices
- Added for flavor to soups and stews
- Incorporated into marinades and dressings
- To flavor fish, poultry and meat dishes
While many recipes highlight parsley, a popular choice is using parsley in a sauce called chimichurri. Chimichurri is an uncooked herb sauce that is used on many different types of grilled meats. It can also be used in potatoes, bread and as a dip on the side. Green chimichurri in particular uses green herbs, with parsley being the star of this tasty sauce. Give it a try!