Parsley is one of the easiest herbs to grow, and it can be used in countless dishes and as a replacement for cilantro. Parsley is packed full of vitamin C and other essential vitamins, so it is a worthwhile crop.
While it is straightforward to grow, many gardeners are unsure how to harvest the herb or even how best to use it in the kitchen. You can find that you have lots of parsley if you harvest in one go.
Unfortunately, it won’t last and can quickly spoil. In our guide, you can learn how to cut parsley plants in the garden, how to chop parsley in the kitchen, and the best ways you can store parsley, so it doesn’t spoil. (Learn How to Build a Cinder Block Herb Garden)
How Do You Cut Fresh Parsley?
Once you have your parsley in the kitchen, here is the best way to chop parsley so it is ideal for cooking use, storing, and won’t spoil.
Items needed for cutting parsley
- Chef Knife – or a good sharp knife
- Cutting Board
- Parsley Bunch
- A bowl full of cold water
Wash the parsley in your bowl of cold water
To wash parsley here, dunk the parley bunch in the cold water and wave around gently. Doing this allows dirt to fall from the leaves. Empty the bowl of water and repeat until there is no remaining dirt.
Pat Parsley Dry
Hold the parsley upside down, then shake it to remove any excess water. You can then pat dry using paper towels.
Remove Parsley Leaves from Stems
Remove leaves from stems using your knife to shave off leaves using and angled and downward motion.
Bunch Your Parsley Leaves
Roll your parsley leaves into a tight pile.
Slice Parsley into Small Pieces
Hold parsley bunch together, then slice into small pieces. You can cut much finer in the next step.
Chop Parsley Finer
You can chop your parsley much finer using a rocking motion with the chef’s knife. Gather your parsley into a small pile and continue until you have chopped the leaves to the desired size.
How to store parsley?
Place your cut parsley inside an airtight container on a damp paper towel. It can stay usable like this for up to 6 hours.
You can freeze parsley in ice cube trays mixed with water or broth for 3 months.
If you have uncut parsley leaves, wrap them in a damp paper towel, place them inside a Ziploc plastic bag, and then refrigerate. You can keep these for use for 3-5 days.
You can place it in a glass full of water and place it in the refrigerator.
How Do You Cut Parsley, So It Keeps Growing?
Pruning parsley is easy, as there is a lot of resilience in this plant. You can cut it back quite harsh, and it will grow back.
If you decide to pinch off the top leaves on the stems, they dry after a few days. It is because of this why it’s better to prune the plant heavily. (Find the Best Windowsill Herb Garden Kit)
To encourage your plant to grow back quickly, you need to trim the long stems, which stop light from reaching the younger stems in the center. You also have to cut back overlapping stems which cause the plant to overcrowd.
- To prune, start searching for long stems growing on the outer edges of your plant.
- Trim these grown stems by cutting at the base of each one.
- Leave around an inch on the bottom of each stem for the new growth can emerge.
- Make sure you deal with stems longer than 8 inches.
- Parsley leaves and stems can turn stiff and bland in taste as they age. Don’t hesitate to remove stalks that grow well.
- Never cut back all your stems in one go, as this can stunt development and stop it from growing back.
Which Part of Parsley is Edible?
You can eat all of the plants, including the stems of parsley. However, these are much bitter than the leaves. When cutting, place all the stems together and remove in one cut.
Freeze in Herb Rolls
If you need parsley for more than 5 days, freezing is the best option. You can’t use them as a garnish, yet they’ll work when used in herb sauce, scrambled eggs, or beans.
1 Wash the parsley to remove dirt or grit.
2 Dab herbs dry with paper towels. In this method, you need to remove as much moisture as possible to stop freezer burn.
3 Place your bunch of parsley to the bottom of a freezer suitable plastic bag and roll into a cigar shape
4 Push air out as you roll.
5 Doing this means your parsley stays fresh. When you need to use it, use kitchen shears to cut off a little chunk of parsley leaf, you need into the recipe you’re cooking!
How Do You Harvest Parsley Without Killing the Plant?
Parsley is among the easiest herbs you can harvest. Besides, it will grow back quickly. All you need is to learn how to harvest your parsley without harming your plant, and you’ll find it keeps producing. (Find the Ideal Herb Garden Layouts)
- Once your plants are large enough, cut or break off the outer stems as you needed them.
- Leave any inner stems and leaves, so they keep growing.
- It is advisable to leave ½–⅔ of the plant intact when you gather leaves for harvesting.
- Also, any time you pick parsley, pick the stems at the base. This will be when they connect to the central stem, or it could be just above soil level.
- When you cut stems in this manner, it encourages plants to put out more stems and leaves. If you remove the individual tip of the individual leaves for recipes, you won’t get vigorous growth
Let your parsley recover for about a week after you harvest, and once inner stems look mature and have far larger leaves, you can harvest once you see new parsley stems coming.