Here's our favorite perennial version of parsley, and it hails from Japanese cuisine. Mitsuba is a delicious perennial green that is revered by chefs and used just like parsley (only better!) in salads, on top of dishes, and in sushi. Its leaves, stems, and seeds are all delicious, being described with a taste that's a combination of parsley, celery, chervil, shiso, and cilantro. Yum!
Why We Love It
Here are some of the reasons why we love Perma Parsley...
1) UNIQUE FLAVOR - Mitsuba will give you wonderfully flavored greens all throughout the growing season for use as a garnish or flavor in salads, on top of prepared dishes, or in sushi. It is revered by chefs for its unique taste which is described as a combination of parsley, celery, chervil, shiso, and cilantro. Yum!
2) GROWS IN SHADE - It's tricky to find delicious, perennial edibles that will grow in shady conditions. Mitsuba to the rescue! It thrives in moist, partly shady conditions.
3) BEAUTIFUL - Mitsuba means '3-lobed' and it has lovely 3-lobed leaves that look like a large flat parsley.
How to Grow It
Here's how to grow Perma Parsley:
|SUN||PREFERS DAPPLED SHADE
|MOISTURE||CONSISTENT MOISTURE WITH GOOD DRAINAGE
|GROWING ZONES||USDA 4-9 (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)|
|SIZE||3 FEET TALL & 2 FEET WIDE|
|GROWING FROM SEED||
In Spring, sprinkle the seeds on the surface of prepared soil. Tamp well and keep moist until germination in 1-2 weeks. Space plants every 12". 50 days to maturity.
PRO TIP: Mitsuba grows great in the understory under trees. We grow ours under our perennial kales and collards and under our asparagus. If you don't want it to spread, simply cut off the flowers before they set seed. Leaves are most delicious before flowering, so trim your Mitsuba regularly to prevent it from flowering, after which time the leaves will develop a little bitterness.
How to Harvest & Use It
Mitsuba can be used anywhere parsley is called for. It's delicious as a garnish on top of soups and prepared meals, can be added into salads, and is an ingredient in sushi. If you decide to cook it, cook only for a couple minutes, as it loses its flavor quickly when cooked. Best added after you take a meal off heat.
Traditionally, Mitsuba can be added on top of rice dishes, mixed into tempura batter, added to miso and other soups, and added to omelets along with scallions.
One of our favorite perennial breakfasts is to head out to the garden and harvest a small handful of Perma Parsley (Mitsuba), Perma Scallions (Welsh Onions), and Perma Garlic (Garlic Chives). Chop all finely and incorporate into eggs along with Perma Spinach (Stinging Nettle). What a delicious and nutritious way to start your day!