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Friday, July 9, 2010


3 Ways to Use Parsley in Italian Cooking

Of all the herbs you can grow for Italian cooking, parsley is king. Some might  argue basil is the way to go, but parsley is not only much more potent in terms of nutritional value, but also for its wide array of uses.

Parsley is one of the most underrated herbs on the planet. Used often for garnishes, this herb does more than grace a plate. It acts as a natural breath freshener (yes it helps even with garlic and onion breath), and it is also loaded with vitamin K, C and A. Try keeping some fresh parsley in a jar on your kitchen counter and snip some off from time to time to munch on. Chew it fully so it will be fully digested.

Parsley is also useful in the kitchen with the foods we eat. Here are three ways you can use parsley in your recipes:

1. Add this wonderful herb to soups and stocks, especially for vegetable or chicken based liquids. Simply chop the herb finely and add it right in. Parsley will lose some of its potency as it cooks, so do not be too shy. Next time you are at a store, look at the ingredients list for some chicken or vegetable broth, and most likely you will find parsley somewhere in the list.

2. Another use in foods is for roasting meat, such as lamb or chicken. You can chop the parsley and then cut slits in the meat. Place the parsley in the slit along with a piece of garlic. Rub the meat with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Roast or bake as you normally would.

3. As mentioned, parsley is great with chicken. Therefore, try adding some chopped parsley (fresh or dried will do) to some breadcrumbs, along with some Italian grated cheese. Use the bread mixture to bread some thawed chicken breasts. Place the breaded chicken in a greased/oiled baking dish and cover. Bake at
375 degrees F for 35-45 minutes or until the juices run clear. Cooking times can vary so if you want to be exact and have a meat thermometer, wait until the poultry reaches 165 degrees F. Remember to disinfect the countertop and any other surface which may have come in contact with the raw chicken.

A tip for cooking the chicken breasts is to spray the tops with olive oil. Bake covered until the last 10 minutes. The remaining time will allow the olive oil to cause the bread crumbs to become crispy, adding some extra texture to your meal. Serve with a nice side dish of spaghetti in a beautiful pasta bowl along with a healthy green salad.

Author credit: Post written by Liz Krause, publisher of, an Italian website featuring healthy Italian recipes, and Italian cookware and appliances such as stovetop espresso makers.


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