Parsley is an extremely popular herb used in many dishes (including soups, stews, and salads). However, if you’re a little like me, it’s not uncommon to end up with more parsley than you need, especially if you buy it in bulk. So how do we get around this? We could freeze it I guess, but can you freeze parsley? Let’s find out!
Why Freeze Parsley
Can You Freeze Parsley?
Yes, quite simply, you can (and probably should!)
Freezing parsley is a simple process that can be done quickly and easily. It involves washing the parsley, drying it thoroughly, and chopping it into small pieces. The chopped parsley can then be placed in an airtight container or freezer bag and stored in the freezer for up to six months.
Freezing parsley not only helps to reduce food waste, but it also allows you to have fresh parsley on hand whenever you need it. It’s a great way to ensure that you always have parsley available for your favorite recipes, even if fresh parsley isn’t readily available at your local grocery store.
Preparing Parsley for Freezing
When it comes to freezing parsley, the first step is to prepare it properly. This will ensure that the parsley retains its flavor and texture when it is thawed. Here are the steps to follow:
- Start by washing the fresh parsley thoroughly. Use a salad spinner to remove any excess water.
- Once the parsley is dry, place it on a paper towel.
- Roll up the paper towel with the parsley inside and place it in a plastic freezer bag. Make sure to label the bag with the date.
- If you want to freeze smaller portions, you can wrap the parsley in a damp paper towel and place it in a small plastic bag.
- Seal the bags tightly and place them in the freezer.
It is important to note that parsley can be frozen for up to six months. After this time, the flavor and texture may start to deteriorate. By following these simple steps, you can freeze parsley and enjoy it in your favorite dishes all year round.
Methods to Freeze Parsley
When it comes to preserving the freshness of parsley, freezing is a great option. Here are three different methods to freeze parsley:
Freezing Parsley in Water
One way to freeze parsley is to chop it up and place it in ice cube trays filled with water. This method is great for recipes that call for small amounts of parsley. Simply pop a parsley ice cube out of the tray and add it to your dish.
Freezing Parsley in Oil
Another method is to chop up the parsley and mix it with olive oil. You can then freeze the mixture in ice cube trays or in a bag. This method is great for recipes that call for sautéing or frying parsley. Simply take out a cube or scoop of the frozen parsley and oil mixture and add it to your pan.
Making Parsley Pesto for Freezing
Finally, you can make parsley pesto and freeze it for later use. To make the pesto, blend parsley, garlic, basil, olive oil, and any other desired ingredients in a food processor. Then, freeze the pesto in ice cube trays or in a bag. This method is great for adding flavor to pasta dishes, sandwiches, and more.
No matter which method you choose, freezing parsley is a great way to ensure that you have fresh parsley on hand for your favorite recipes.
Storing Frozen Parsley
When it comes to storing frozen parsley, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure its freshness and flavor are preserved.
First, it is important to choose the right container. Airtight containers, such as freezer bags, are ideal for storing parsley in the freezer. This will prevent any moisture from getting in and causing freezer burn or loss of flavor.
Before freezing, it is recommended to blanch the parsley. This involves briefly boiling the parsley in water and then immediately placing it in ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching helps to preserve the color and flavor of the parsley.
Once blanched, the parsley can be chopped and placed in freezer bags. It is important to remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing them. Alternatively, parsley can be frozen in ice cube trays with a small amount of water or oil. Once frozen, the cubes can be transferred to freezer bags for long-term storage.
When using frozen parsley, it is recommended to use it directly from the freezer without thawing. This will help to prevent any loss of flavor or texture. Frozen parsley can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, sauces, and marinades.
Using Frozen Parsley
Frozen parsley can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, sauces, meat, fish, and cooked dishes. However, it is important to note that frozen parsley will not retain its crisp texture once thawed and is best used as a flavoring agent rather than a garnish.
To defrost frozen parsley, simply remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature. Alternatively, it can be placed in the refrigerator for a few hours to thaw slowly.
When using frozen parsley in soups, stews, and sauces, it can be added directly to the dish without the need for thawing. However, if using frozen parsley as a garnish or in a dish where appearance is important, it is best to chop the parsley after thawing to prevent it from becoming mushy.
Frozen parsley can also be used to add flavor to cooked dishes. Simply add it to the dish during the last few minutes of cooking to allow the flavor to infuse.
It is important to note that freezing can affect the flavor of parsley, so it is recommended to use frozen parsley within six months for optimal flavor.
Potential Issues with Frozen Parsley
Freezing parsley can be a convenient way to preserve it for later use, but there are some potential issues to consider. One of the most significant issues is the texture of the parsley after it has been frozen. Frozen parsley may become limp and lose some of its crispness, which can affect the overall texture of dishes that it is used in.
Another issue to consider when freezing parsley is the potential for microorganisms to grow on the herb. While freezing can slow the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, it does not kill them. If the parsley was not properly washed and dried before freezing, there is a risk that harmful bacteria could still be present on the herb when it is thawed.
It is also important to note that parsley should not be refrozen once it has been thawed. Refreezing can cause the texture of the herb to become even more limp and can also increase the risk of bacterial growth.
To minimize these potential issues, it is recommended to freeze parsley in small batches and use it within a few months of freezing. Properly washing and drying the herb before freezing can also help to reduce the risk of bacterial growth. If the texture of the parsley is a concern, it may be best to use frozen parsley in cooked dishes rather than raw dishes where the texture is more noticeable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to use frozen parsley?
Frozen parsley can be used in the same way as fresh parsley. Simply remove the desired amount from the freezer and add it to your recipe. Frozen parsley is great for use in soups, stews, and sauces.
Is it better to dry or freeze parsley?
Both drying and freezing parsley are effective methods of preserving the herb. However, freezing parsley is the preferred method as it retains more of its flavor and nutrients.
How to store parsley for a long time?
To store parsley for a long time, wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze parsley for up to six months.
Preserving parsley in olive oil?
Preserving parsley in olive oil is not recommended as it can create an environment for bacteria to grow.
How to freeze parsley in ice cube trays?
To freeze parsley in ice cube trays, chop the parsley and place it in each ice cube compartment. Fill the compartments with water and freeze. Once frozen, remove the parsley cubes and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer.
How to blanch parsley?
To blanch parsley, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the parsley. Cook for 30 seconds, then remove and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the parsley and pat dry before using or freezing.