Drying Parsley

I'm re posting this on these groups for a wider audience:
I have been growing italian parsley in a small windo box planter and now have a large bumper crop. Does anyone know of a good method of drying the parsley and keeping it in as indefinitely as possible?
I have also thought about cleaning it, chopping it and freezing it.
JT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Taylors in Japan wrote:

I'd use a dehydrator (... I do have 4 ov'em), but dried parsley isn't all that good really. It'll dry faster if you remove the larger stems. It's completely dry when it doesn't bend but breaks; at that point, crush it up and put it into a glass jar with a tight lid.

Frozen parsley is definitely the better choice. No need to chop it, just clean it; when it's frozen you just crush some in the bag, or scrape some out of your jar with a spoon, and use that.
fup set to rge.
Henriette
--
Henriette Kress, AHG Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Drying parsley is a complete waste of time as it looses 99% of its flavour no matter how careful you are. Freezing will give you a fair amount of flavour if not the texture.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In our experience, dried parsley tastes almost, but not quite, as good as dried alfalfa. Frozen, on the other hand works well for us. Others may disagree and, they're free to do so.
Ross.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the advice. I dried the parsley last night to drain any excess water from cleaning--the cold dry climate here in Japan this time of year takes care of that nicely. I just finished putting it in the freezer.
I have another question: what herbs are best frozen and what are best dried?
JT

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The subtle herbs like parsley, chervil etc don't dry well. Coriander (cilantro) leaf is not what I would call subtle when fresh but it doesn't dry well either.
The stronger herbs: tarragon, basil, oregano etc dry well but often the character changes as they dry. Depending on the situation this change may be important to you or not. For some purposes the fresh form is better (even essential) for other purposes the dry form is.
For example to make pesto, dried basil just doesn't work at all. To make bernaise sauce fresh tarragon may just as good as dried, but in cases where you cannot come by one of the more pungent cultivars (or it is the wrong season) the dried form may be better as the commercial growers use such cultivars and harvest them when they are at their peak of pungency.
The reason for these differences is in the essential (volatile) oils that are lost or changed during the drying process. Different plants have different oils ( that's why they taste different - duh!) and some survive the process and others don't.
As for the effect of freezing I cannot say as much but all other things being equal you will lose less essential oils (and hence flavour) during freezing than during drying. Freezing will damage the cells and so change the texture (so does drying of course) but as herbs are often chopped/ground up this doen't matter so much unless you require the lush greeness of a fresh basil leaf on your Italian cheese salad.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think you are off-base on tarragon. Dried tarragon has little flavour but freezing it works, and so does making tarragon vinegar. As for your remark about cultivars of tarragon, I understand that French tarragon doesn't set seed, so all the tarragon plants in the world are clones, and therefore the same strain.
(Russian tarragon is a different herb, inferior in for cuisinary use.)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps our differences are a case of international variation in material available and conditions. I have found store-bought dried tarragon to be very flavoursome most of the time and I cook with it quite a bit. I suspect the stuff that wasn't good was old stock or was not stored properly, perhaps that has been your problem.
I wonder about the provenence of the "French" tarragon around the world, it would be interesting to see if the material in various countries could be traced back to some one ancestral source or if the non-seeding variety has arisen more than once in history. I don't know how you do such a study short of DNA analysis.
I have found considerable variation in the flavour of fresh tarragon. Was this because of different cultivars of French tarragon or was it due to confusion of French and Russian varieties (some nurseries don't seem to know that there are two sorts and I cannot tell the difference by sight) or variations in growing conditions and seasonal effects? I don't know. Now that I have more time and space for gardening perhaps I will conduct a grand tarragon study - win, lose or draw it would be fun (yum!).
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I find tarragon preserved in vinegar is all I need for the cooking I do with it, although I also have some in the freezer. If you want help tasting the Bearnaise sauces, I'm available.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The queue starts on the right but you will have to fight off some children who have been indulged in this respect.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
tarragon is about smell, nothing the tongue picks up. I bring my tarragon in from outside, toss some in the freezer, let some dry in the drawer. it is not as strong, but when I strip a branch to add to food I can smell the aroma and know it is fine. if the leaves are crushed and they dont smell... well toss that. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

tasteless. I have found that nurseries don't know the difference and sell the Russian as the real thing and most of them buy the seedlings from wholesalers anyway. Even seed companies sell the seeds as a culinary herb. OTOH French tarragon can only be propagated from splitting rootstock, which is best done in spring. I would imagine that growing conditions might contribute to flavour variations as well as different cultivars. Mine is quite strong. Ahhh, the smell in the kitchen of tarragon chicken cooking........
Graham
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My understanding is that French tarragon can be propagated from cuttings.
Regards, Dianna

_______________________________________________ To reply, please remove "fluff" from my address.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andrew Ostrander wrote:

My dried tarragon is quite unlike hay. It's rather a lot like fresh tarragon, in fact, and it, too, needs the caution "a little goes a _long_ way". Perhaps you have inferior drying methods? I bundle'em up and hang'em high, and when they're dry (about 10 days) I strip the leaf off the stems and store that in a dark cupboard in a tight glass jar.
Henriette
--
Henriette Kress, AHG Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I guess I will have to try again next year to dry some, but I still observe that mine stayed dried-out in sauces, unlike leaves that were frozen or preserved in vinegar.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.