Herb of the Month: Parsley

Our September herb of the month is Parsley. Parsley is a popular culinary and medicinal herb, recognised as one of the functional foods for its unique antioxidants, and disease preventing properties. This fragrant, rich herb is native to the Mediterranean region. This leafy herb belongs to the Apiaceae family, in the genus; Petroselinum. Its botanical name is Petroselinum crispum.

The herb is a small plant featuring dark-green leaves that resemble coriander leaves, especially in the flat-leaf variety. However, its leaves are larger by size and milder in flavour than that of leaf-coriander. The herb is widely employed in Mediterranean, East European, and American cuisine.
Several varieties of parsley exist, the principle being the common plain-leaved, the curled-leaved, broad-leaved and celery-leaved.

Health Benefits

Parsley is rich in many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin-A, beta-carotene, vitamin-C,vitamin-E, zea-xanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin. The herb is also a good source of vitamin-K and folates. Zea-xanthin aids in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration in the retina in the aged population.

History & Tradition

Parsley or garden parsley is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region, naturalised elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.


In foods and beverages, parsley is widely used as a garnish, condiment, food, and flavouring.

Parsley and Paprika Tempura

  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 150g tempura flour mix
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 150g sparkling water
  • 6 sprigs parsley )
  • Maldon salt

1 Heat a wok ⅓ full of vegetable oil, or pour the oil into a deep-fat fryer. Heat to 180C/350F or until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden-brown after 30 seconds.

2 Cut the parsley stalks; leave just 1cm of it

2 Mix the flour, paprika and water to make the tempura mix. Dip the parsley leaves into the mix. Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with salt to taste then serve straight away.

Serves 6-8. Perfect as a pre-dinner snack – serve with red wine or beer!


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