How to preserve Italian parsley

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to preserve Italian parsley” and discuss the different methods of preserving Italian Italian parsley.

How to preserve Italian parsley

Italian parsley can be preserved by :

  • Refrigerating
  • Freezing
  • Drying

Parsley is one of the best-known herbs worldwide and is used as a garnish for a variety of dishes. There are 2 main varieties of parsley, namely Italian or flat-leaf parsley and curly-leaf parsley. 

Italian parsley has broad, flat leaves and is more flavourful than curly-leaf parsley so it is used more commonly in dishes. However, both Italian and curly-leaf parsley can be used interchangeably and they can also be preserved using the same methods.

How to preserve Italian parsley by refrigerating

Refrigerating is the best and easiest method to preserve Italian parsley. Refrigerated Italian Italian parsley will have the same flavor and texture as fresh Italian parsley. The only drawback is that refrigerated Italian parsley must be used within 2 weeks.

There are 2 ways to refrigerate Italian parsley, one is by wrapping a damp paper towel and the other is by immersing the stems in water.

To refrigerate Italian parsley in a damp towel:

  • Wash the Italian parsley in clean water.
  • Remove the excess water by using a salad spinner or paper towels.
  • Wrap the Italian parsley in a damp towel.
  • Place the towel inside a plastic bag.
  • Refrigerate until needed.

The above method preserves Italian parsley for about 10 days and they don’t have to be washed again before using in a recipe. 

To refrigerate Italian parsley by immersing stems in water:

  • Do not wash the Italian parsley beforehand.
  • Trim off a small section of the Italian parsley stems.
  • Immerse the Italian parsley stems in a glass of water so that the leaves stand upright.
  • Cover the leaves with a plastic bag.
  • Place it in the refrigerator.
  • Replace the water in the glass every 2 days to prevent microbial growth.

The above method allows Italian parsley to be stored for about 2 weeks and they must be washed before being in a recipe.

How to preserve Italian parsley by freezing

Freezing properly will preserve Italian parsley for about 1 year.

Frozen Italian parsley cannot be used as a garnish since they lose texture once thawed. However, they can still be added to other recipes where the Italian parsley will be heated or cooked such as soups and stews.

There are quite a few ways to freeze Italian parsley. You can freeze whole Italian parsley stalks, chop or mince them up, or even freeze them in ice cube trays with or without water. Chopped Italian parsley can also be mixed with other herbs of choice and then frozen.

To freeze Italian parsley leaves: 

  • Wash the Italian parsley in clean water. 
  • Remove the excess water by using a salad spinner or paper towels. You can either freeze with or without the stems.
  • Place the leaves inside a ziplock bag and squeeze out all the air. Leaves can be chopped or minced into a desired size at this point but whole leaves will retain more flavor. 
  • Seal, label and place the bag in the freezer.

To freeze Italian parsley leaves in an ice cube tray:

  • Wash the Italian parsley in clean water. 
  • Remove the excess water by using a salad spinner or paper towels. Remove the Italian parsley leaves from the stems.
  • Place a few Italian parsley leaves inside each cubicle of the ice cube tray and top up with water. Be sure to use as little water as possible. Olive oil or cooking oil can be added instead of water if a stronger taste is preferred. Italian parsley frozen in oil will melt sooner when added to dishes.
  • Chopped or minced Italian parsley can also be instead of whole leaves.
  • Place the tray in the freezer until all the cubes are frozen.
  • Transfer the frozen cubes into a ziplock bag.
  • Squeeze out the air, seal, label and return it to the freezer.

How to preserve Italian parsley by drying

Italian parsley preserves well with drying and retains most of its flavor and aroma when compared to curly-leaf parsley. Drying will preserve Italian parsley for about a year

There are several methods to dry Italian parsley. 

Italian parsley can be dried by:

  • Air-drying
  • Sun-drying
  • Using a food dehydrator
  • Using an oven
  • Using a microwave

Dried Italian parsley must always be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place away from moisture. Dried Italian parsley can also be frozen for about a year and a half but once again, there will be a loss of flavor.

You can find out more about the methods used to dry Italian parsley here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve Italian parsley” and discussed the different methods used to preserve Italian parsley.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

References

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-flat-leaf-parsley-and-curly-parsley#cooking-with-curly-parsley
https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-to-store-parsley-and-other-herbs-so-they-stay-fresh-article

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.