What's the difference between flat leaf and curly parsley? How do you use each? Here's all you need to know about the leafy herb.
flat-leaf and curly parsley sprigs
Photography by Jennifer Causey
| Credit: Photography by Jennifer Causey

Most Americans used to think that all parsley was curly—and that it existed only as a garnish for salad bars or on dinner plates. Then chefs discovered the Italian flat-leaf variety and suddenly this flavorful herb graduated to a bona fide ingredient. Why the shift? Is flat-leaf parsley really all that different? In a word, yes. It's one of our test kitchen's go-to herbs, popping up in lots of recipes. Two examples this issue: Golden Hummus and Rach's Spanish Shrimp Scampi. Flat-leaf parsley adds a fresh herbal flavor without overwhelming a dish as more assertive herbs like tarragon and rosemary can. Stir some into soups, toss into pastas, or chop up a handful and toss with packaged salad greens to freshen things up. And the curly stuff? Its grassy flavor and saltiness can be a turn-off. Plus, it's more of a pain to chop. #teamflatleaf