Preserving Parsley
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Ray M
Posted on: November 18, 2004

Can you grind up parsley leaves, with olive oil to preserve it for cooking purposes? If so, what would the proper procedure be, or would it be better to try to dry the leaves?

Fresh parsley does not retain its flavour well when dried, so you are right in wanting to puree it fresh. Most often I take big bunches of rinsed and dried (in salad spinner or on paper towel) parsley and pulse it in the food processor to finely chop. Then I pack it in a plastic freezer container (to protect it from freezer burn, dehydrating or picking up other freezer odours). You could also fill ice cube trays with chopped parsley then top off with water; freezer then transfer cubes to a plastic freezer bag (label and date). You can pick up extra ice cube tray at dollar stores. Cubes can be thrown into soups or let them melt on paper towel.

If desired, puree parsley with a little oil (olive, sunflower, canola, etc.) until you get a soft paste. Pack puree in small plastic freezer containers; top with a thin layer of oil to prevent enzymatic browning.

For more information on preserving fresh herbs such as freezing, drying, making herb butters, oils, pesto, vinegars, honey, etc. check out my cookbook "Thyme in the Kitchen - Cooking With Fresh Herbs", available from Richters. To review, visit

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