The mystery seeds last week were parsley, Petroselinum crispum.
You could joke that parsley is a plant that often doesn’t get a lot of respect. It is used as a garnish that mostly sits on the plate uneaten at the end of the meal.
All kidding aside, however, parsley comes from the Mediterranean region and is often used in Mediterranean cooking.
Above is an example of the flat-leaved variety, which is sometimes called “Italian parsley.”
This variety is aptly named “triple-curly.”
Parsley is a biennial, which means it doesn’t flower until its second year.
(Illustration from Wikimedia)
The flowers resemble dill flowers.
Can you see the ribs and grooves in the drawing of the seeds and in the photograph?
If you have ever grown parsley, you might have encountered parsley worms, which are black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. In fact, parsley plants are an awesome addition to a butterfly garden for that very reason.
As you can see in this video from CTNaturalist, parsley worms are quite colorful. They would be a good addition to the “stripes” theme from last week.
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses parsley?
Mine is a simple potato salad using roughly one pound boiled red potatoes (cut up with skins on), 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaved parsley, and a splash of your favorite oil and vinegar dressing. Now there’s no reason to leave the parsley on the plate!