In ancient times parsley wreaths were used to ward off drunkenness – though proof of their efficacy in that capacity is scarce. Today, this slightly peppery, fresh-flavoured herb is more commonly used as a flavouring and garnish. Though there are many varieties of this herb, the most popular are curly-leaf parsley and the more strongly flavoured Italian or flat-leaf parsley.

Parsley is rich in Vitamins A and C and folic acid and a very good source of iron and fibre. It is also a good source of Vitamin E and calcium and if used in salads as an ingredient rather than a garnish can make a significant contribution to the nutrient content of the diet.

Nutritional Value

Nutrient Raw
Energy kJ 141
Kcal 34
Protein g 3.0
Carbohydrate g 2.7
Fat g 1.3

A good source of…

Nutrient Fresh
Fibre One TickOne Tick
Vitamin A One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick
Vitamin E One Tick
Vitamin C One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick
Thiamin One Tick
Folic Acid One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick
Calcium One Tick
Iron One TickOne TickOne Tick

For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.

Preparing and Using

Fresh curly leaf parsley is widely available year round. It should be chosen for bright-green leaves that show no sign of wilting. Wash fresh parsley,shaking off excess moisture, and wrap first in paper towels, then in a plastic bag. It can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Parsley is a popular herb with a very distinctive flavour. It is also used extensively as a garnish. If it is chopped finely, washed and then squeezed out through a clean tea towel it will have a lovely bright green colour which will look especially nice when added to salads, mashed potato and butter.

Parsley is an integral part of a bouquet garni,along with bay leaves and thyme. It is used in hundreds of different dishes and recipes. It goes well in the following salads: aspics, chicken, egg,fish, and shellfish, mixed greens, potato and vegetable. It is used in almost all soups and stews and goes well with chicken, duck, most fish and shellfish and turkey. It can be used with beef,lamb, liver, pork, veal and venison. Almost any vegetable can be flavoured with parsley as can almost any pasta or pulse dish. All savoury and egg dishes and almost all savoury sauces can be flavoured with parsley. Parsley can also be dipped in batter and deep-fried and served as a starter or snack with a selection of other herb fritters and a dip. Chopped fresh parsley can be frozen into ice cubes made from stock or water and added to dishes as needed.


For some parsley recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here

Pan-fried Hake with Lemon Butter Sauce

Of course this recipe is great with just parsley but experiment with a combination of soft fragrant herbs sauce as parsley, chives and tarragon or chervil depending on what’s available.

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Sideloin Lamb Chops with Parsley and Thyme Dressing

A really tasty mid-week meal that can be on the table in twenty minutes. We have used sideloin chops but the recipe works equally well with any type of lamb chops, cutlets or lamb steaks.

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