One of two common varieties of parsley (the other is curly). Both offer bright, grassy flavor, but flat-leaf parsley is bolder, with a distinctive licorice-like edge. So, for most recipes, flat-leaf variety, which is also easier to wash, is preferred.
Parsley is a good foil for the richness of cheese, from sharp Parmigiano to mild fresh ricotta as well as all kinds of nuts. It rounds out the flavor of pungent ingredients like anchovies, capers, olives, and crushed red pepper flakes, and it's lovely with lemon zest, garlic, shallots, and scallions. Parsley adds punch to starchy foods like beans, potatoes, winter squash, and grains. It's also gorgeous—and delicious—with deep-orange vegetables like butternut squash and carrots.
1 small bunch = 3 oz. = 1/2 cup lightly packed chopped
You can substitute curly parsley.
Look for parsley with a dark green color and perky stems.
Wash and dry parsley thoroughly; it needs a vigorous swishing in two or three changes of water to get out all the grit. Pick over the bunch to discard any yellowed and decaying stems and leaves and use a sharp chef's knife when you chop it.
If you store parsley loosely in a zip-top bag lined with a paper towel, it will keep fresh for a week—sometimes longer. Alternatively, you can trim at least half an inch off the stems and stand them in a jar of water in the fridge, loosely covered with a plastic bag.