October in Texas: Try Parsley-Infused Recipes

| 10/19/2010 10:25:37 AM

J.RushingJessy Rushing is a Texas gardener who fell in love with herbs after tripping into a rosemary shrub one day. The scent on her clothes cheered her up all afternoon. Her curiosity was aroused and since then her herb gardening has been part investigation, part experimentation and most importantly, part delight. 

How could I not love October? After triple digit heat, October is like cool silk on my skin. The air is soft, cool and breezy. Herbal fragrances waft from our young garden and all is serene. We’ve been in the house a year, working one patch of earth at a time. All the composting and pestering neighbors for advice is paying off. The soil is rich, warm and crumbly, a far cry from the native black gumbo clay. I set a little herb garden by the backdoor where I could snip chives, basil or rosemary for a recipe. Let me be honest—I’m not a very good cook—ask anyone I know about my famous fried cookies. But I love growing herbs and I’m open to new recipes.

Parsley is a cool season herb.
Photo by
Jessy Rushing 

October in Texas is an open invitation to plant cool season herbs. Flat leaf, or Italian parsley, is one of my favorites. Even a cook with a questionable reputation can make a tasty dish with this useful herb. Not only is it pretty in the garden, it’s full of vitamins A and C, potassium and antioxidants. Plant plenty because beneficial insects like parsley when it bolts and it’s a host plant for black swallowtail butterfly larvae.

Parsley is a biennial that is usually treated like an annual. In warm climates, it’s a cool season annual. I plant some in fall and early spring. My luck with seeds has been iffy, but if you’re the patient type, plant seeds 1/4-inch deep in fine soil and they should sprout in 2 to 3 weeks. To keep Italian parsley after it's harvested, wrap in damp paper towels and snuggle in plastic bags. It’ll last 4 to 5 days in the fridge. To keep fresh parsley longer, chop it up, place in small, clean jar (baby food jars are perfect), cover with good quality olive oil and it’ll be ready to use in sauces.

Parsley Butter 

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