I only really grow flat-leafed Parsley and I don’t bother with the curly variety at all. Italian Giant is one of the more commonly grown varieties in the UK which has quite a good flavour but it is often a bit coarse and stringy in its stalks and in the leaf, making it a bit too fibrous for my tastes. Instead, I have been growing a variety that I found from Napoli in Italy that is much more sweet and creamy tasting. It is greener and softer, much softer than the normal Parsley leaf, making it much easier to eat without the need to chop.
We grow and sell it as a microherb and as a slightly more developed young herb leaf which captures the flavour at its prime. I’ve found that the best point in flavour and texture development is when the plant has grown to 10 or 12 inches, cutting from a young but full plant. As one of the ‘fines herbes’ it is very widely used in European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cookery. Our Parsley would form an excellent base to a range of experimental Gremolatas (classic raw Italian garnish of parsley, lemon zest and garlic) for an intense finish to cooked meats, seafood or cheeses – see Marx Foods’ White Truffle Horseradish Gremolata for ideas. Parsley keeps its colour better than some of the other green herbs, which makes it perfect for making Green Parsley Jelly (as in Noma’s Razor Clam and Parsley, Horseradish and Mussel Juice) or for Japanese Tempura Herbs.
Parsley is very easy to look after. It likes a fairly moist soil and soil that is a bit richer compared to a lot of herbs, so we tend to prepare the ground with a lot of organic manure for a much better crop.