If you are a fan of Italian cooking, one or both of these herbs must have crossed your path at least once. But how easily can you tell them apart? This article answers all your questions concerning the battle between Parsley Vs Basil.
Considering they are both commonly used in many cuisines, there may be times when you want to know how they differ from each other.
Do they both taste similar? What are the differences between them?
Let’s find out how these two plant varieties compare in this parsley vs basil post!
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between parsley vs basil? The two herbs I see used most often in the kitchen are parsley and basil.
These two popular herbs are used with almost every type of food, from meats to vegetables and even baking.
Take a look below at each of these herbs individually for some hints about their unique flavor and uses.
- What is Parsley
- Differences between Curly Parsley and Flat-leaf Parsley
- What is Basil
- Differences between Sweet Basil and Holy Basil
- Parsley Vs Basil: Nutrition Facts
- How to Grow Parsley and Basil
- How to store Basil and Parsley
- Culinary uses of Basil Vs. Parsley
- Differences between using aromatic herbs fresh or dried
And if you love seasonings make sure to check this post to learn everything about Japanese spices!
What is Parsley
Parsley is a common herb that is often used to add flavor to foods. It is part of the Apiaceae family known as Petroselinum crispum.
This herb grows in most regions of the world. It has been used for thousands of years in various cultures for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Parsley is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans for medicinal purposes.
It was cultivated by the Greeks, who introduced it to Rome. The Romans used it to cure the morning-after-the-banquet feeling.
Parsley has a distinctive taste with a hint of bitterness. It has a unique, intense flavor that enhances the taste of other herbs and vegetables.
It’s taste can range from mild to sharp, depending on how mature it is when harvested. It has a unique flavor, so it can be easily recognized in dishes in which it is used.
This delicious and versatile herb is available in two varieties, flat-leaf, and curly leaf. Both types have a similar nutrition profile but slightly different textures and flavors.
Differences between Curly Parsley and Flat-leaf Parsley
Taste and texture
The flat-leaf variety of parsley has a more pronounced flavor than curly leaf parsley.
Although both are used in cooking, the flat-leaf variety is preferred for its flavor.
The flat leaves are also larger than curly leaf parsley and can be up to three inches long.
In contrast, the leaves of the curly leaf variety are usually less than an inch wide.
Curly leaf parsley has a milder flavor than its flat-leaf counterpart.
The texture of parsley is another difference between these two varieties.
Curly leaf parsley has a softer texture that makes it ideal for garnishing dishes or adding to salads or other foods just before serving because it will wilt quickly once exposed to heat. Flat-leaf parsley is best for cooking because it holds up well when exposed to heat.
In the United States, the curly leaf variety is more popular because it’s easier to grow, and it looks nicer when used as a garnish.
Italian parsley is preferred by chefs in European cuisines and by home cooks who want the stronger flavor that comes with using more of the herb.
What is Basil
When most people think of basil, the first thing that comes to mind is Italian dishes.
Like oregano, basil has a strong, distinct flavor and aroma. That’s why it’s used in so many dishes from different cultures, like Thai and Mexican.
The fragrant leaves of this Mediterranean herb are part of the mint family.
They have a spicy, slightly sweet flavor and a variety of uses in the kitchen.
The name basil comes from the Greek word basileus, meaning “king,” and has been highly valued throughout history.
Basil is a tender perennial and grows best in sandy, well-drained soil with full sun.
It can reach 3 or 4 feet and should be pruned back to about 12 inches for compact growth. Harvesting tips: Pick basil as needed for fresh use or dry for later use.
When cooking with fresh basil, try to use only the leaves and avoid the stems, which have a very strong flavor.
Differences between Sweet Basil and Holy Basil
The two main types of basil are sweet and holy basil (also known as Thai basil).
Holy basil has a stronger scent than sweet basil. Holy basil is also usually used for medicinal purposes rather than cooking.
In addition to these two types of basil, there are other varieties, like Cinnamon basil.
This type of basil has a licorice-like taste and tangy purple-colored leaves. Lemon basil tastes like lemon, obviously, but has a slightly peppery flavor.
Purple ruffles have small purple leaves with ruffled edges. And opal basil looks like orange-tinged sweet basil but has an anise flavor instead of a minty one.
Parsley Vs Basil: Nutrition Facts
For 100g of Parsley
Carbohydrates 6.33 g
Fiber 3.3 g
Protein 2.97 g
Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A.
Iron, Calcium, Magnesium
Basil 100 g
Carbohydrates 2.65 g
Fiber 1.6 g
Protein 3.15 g
Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A.
Manganese, Iron, Copper
How to Grow Parsley and Basil
Growing parsley and basil can be a lot of fun, easy to do, and a rewarding hobby. Many herbs can be grown in pots. Also, growing herbs indoors allows you to have fresh herbs all year long.
Acquiring the seeds for growing herbs is easy; you should always start with a new packet each season.
Once you have the seeds, you will need to prepare your garden or pot for planting.
The best time to start growing herbs is in the early spring when temperatures are steady, between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The soil temperature should not be below 40 degrees or over 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to store Basil and Parsley
When you have bought fresh parsley, it can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.
Place inside a refrigerator, wrapped in a damp paper towel, or placed inside a plastic bag.
If you want to keep it longer, you should freeze it in an airtight container.
Freezing parsley stops it from losing its flavor and color. You can then use the frozen parsley when needed.
As for the basil, if you’re using it for cooking, the best way to store basil is by wrapping up the stems with a damp paper towel and storing them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
If you want to keep the fresh basil longer, it’s better to store them separately in a glass of water.
Culinary uses of Basil Vs. Parsley
Parsley leaves uses
This herb has many culinary uses, including:
- To boost the flavor of soups, stews, and sauces. It is often added at the beginning of cooking and removed before serving.
- To complement meats and eggs. It is often used near the end of cooking.
- Parsley is used as a garnish on prepared foods, such as cold salads and hot meat dishes.
- To make tabbouleh in combination with vinegar, salt, and garlic.
- It is used as an ingredient for stuffing poultry.
- In soups, salad dressings, sauces, and casseroles.
- Parsley adds a nice flavor punch to salsa or guacamole.
- It also looks pretty sprinkled on top of hummus or bean dip.
- In salads: Tender young leaves make an excellent salad addition and a great way to get kids to eat their greens!
- Tossed with slices of cucumber and tomato, they add color and crunch to any salad. Try dressing with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chopped garlic cloves.
Basil is a staple herb in culinary arts.
Most professional and amateur cooks feel incomplete without basil in the kitchen.
This is because it adds flavor to almost every dish. It is used in Italian dishes and used in Asian, Mexican, and Indian foods.
Basil is particularly good with tomatoes and eggplants, two popular ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine.
It can be used as a garnish for soups, stews, sauces, and salads.
It is also an excellent meat tenderizer and can be used to make barbecue sauces more flavorful.
To get the maximum flavor from basil, use the fresh ones you have grown at home or buy them from the market-fresh.
The most popular culinary use for basil is as an ingredient in pesto sauce, a blend of basil leaves, cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil that originated in Genoa, Italy.
Differences between using aromatic herbs fresh or dried
You can get fresh or dried basil and dried parsley.
Choosing to cook using aromatic herbs, either fresh or dried, is important.
The truth is that both fresh and dried herbs have their conveniences and disadvantages.
There is no doubt that dried herbs’ convenience and shelf life make them a popular choice for herbalists and avid cooks alike.
Put the herb in an airtight container such as a mason jar, and it will be good for several months if kept away from heat, light, and moisture.
On the other hand, freshly picked aromatic herbs are great for adding flavor to a recipe or for medicinal uses because of the essential oils.
These oils have many health benefits, including antioxidants, antimicrobial action, and anti-tumor properties.
After several weeks to months on your shelf, the essential oil content will diminish significantly, reducing its benefits.
So now that we know the true answer for the parsley vs basil match, what do you think? Would you be able to only pick one?