A sweet summer recipe ~
Pictured above is a beautiful crab spider lost in the intricacies of a Parsley umbel. This is a plant deeply rooted in mythology & in the kitchen. In Ancient Greece, Parsley was revered as a plant of Persephone & as a symbol of her journey to & from the underworld; a reflection of the seasonal wheel shifting & turning from one seasonal polarity to the next. You will find countless recipes that call for Parsley in some form. This time of the year, in the gardens, the Parsley leaves are like little hands, whose palms are facing up towards the sun, taking it all in.
July in its heat & floral abundance has arrived to us. Though the days are getting shorter, it seems as if the sun is beating every stronger as a consequence. As I look around in my garden, I noticed that some plants are thriving in the relentless sunlight, while others are beginning to wither & die back. The days are hot, long, & buzzing & the Parsley in our garden is looking especially content with this weather. I love Parsley as both food & medicine. It is such a refreshing, crisp, aromatic, & versatile herb to include in savory & sweet dishes alike. Plus, it is rich in Vitamins C, K, A & folic acid, amongst other vital nutrients.
Every other Summer, I like to make a Parsley leaf tincture. I like to call upon it to brighten formulas, aid in digestive blends, bring some Vitamin C to an immune-boosting tonic, & as an emmenagogue. On that note, *please be aware* that Parsley is one of the strongest emmenogogues I know ~ perhaps this is due to the connection with Persephone - so with that said, do not work with excessive doses of Parsley if you are pregnant! Little bits are fine, but the recipe I will share below would best be saved for the postpartum period when you need to double up on nourishing foods & herbs.
Both as a medicine & as a food, Parsley is helpful in digestive upset, especially when there is trapped air or lots of discomfort after eating. Parsley is surprisingly quite mucilagenous or demulcent! This means it helps to coat & soothe the mucous membranes like the digestive tract & throat. It also supports the kidneys & their work in balancing our internal waters. Helping to move along stagnation, it inspires great releases, & brings a lightness of being into the whole body ~ the kind of lightness that I think truly embodies the height of Summer's long light.
If you grow Parsley in your garden, you have a beautiful food & potent medicine, which will be a welcome flavor & feeling in the colder seasons, when Persephone has returned to the underworld. Fresh is my favorite way to work with Parsley, but do consider drying some for culinary use in the Fall & Winter. Other than tincturing Parsley, you can make infused oils, salves, liniments, & oxymels. I personally love the flower essence as well.
Here you will find a recipe that combines the sweetness of honey with the pungency of Parsley. It makes a lovely spoonful on its own, but also a perfect addition to your morning tea, gently applied onto wounds that are almost healed but need an extra boost, gently rubbed onto tough scars, added into immune-support blends, taken when the throat is itchy, sore, or infected, & really anything you can think or desire to put honey on ~ from toasts to cakes to salad dressings.
-- a big handful of fresh Parsley leaves & flowers if they are in bloom ~~ any species will do (organic or garden-grown is best but optional)
-- raw, local honey*
-- pint sized glass jar with a lid
-- scissors/kitchen knife -- label sticker
*note: using raw, local honey is my preferred method, but any honey will do
-- rinse off your parsley in a colander & dab it dry with a clean cloth
-- use your scissors or a knife to chop up your leaves, stems, & flowers
-- once you have cut it all up, add your Parsley into a clean pint sized jar about halfway full
-- pour your honey over them & patiently allow it to sink to the bottom, covering all of your
plant (you can stir with chopsticks or a wooden spoon if you need) making sure that your parsley
is fully covered with honey
-- place a lid & label on your jar with the date & contents
-- place your jar in a sunny windowsill ~ keeping it warm will allow the herbs to better infuse &
bring an extra bit of golden magic into this already golden medicine
-- visit the jar daily to gently turn it
-- after 3-4 weeks, your honey should be nicely infused
-- you can leave the Parsley in your honey (my preferred method) or slowly heat your honey on a low temperature to make it more liquidy & then strain it with a sieve into a clean jar
-- if you do separate the two, keep your strained Parsley & add into salads, baked goods, or to make a sweet sun tea with
-- keep your infused honey in a cupboard & enjoy