I have a recipe for a brine that says to include a bunch of parsley when adding the ingredients to the boil. My question is, do I add the parsley whole, with the stems, or should I still separate the leaves?

It also includes thyme so the same question for that, too.

1 Answer 1


In a brine, I would simply toss in the whole thing, stem and leaves, for parsley. In fact, parsley stems are quite flavorful. Thyme benefits from a bit of bruising to release the aroma and flavor. So, I would roughly strip the leaves, not worrying too much if some stem was included.

  • I thought I had read parsley stems were bitter.
    – Rob
    Oct 22, 2019 at 0:37
  • Have you tried them?
    – moscafj
    Oct 22, 2019 at 0:42
  • No. Because I was told they were bitter.
    – Rob
    Oct 22, 2019 at 0:42
  • Try them...I use them regularly, especially in brines, pestos and salsas.
    – moscafj
    Oct 22, 2019 at 0:44
  • I'd use the soft stems for many herbs, like coriander and cilantro for the same reason - flavor.
    – GdD
    Oct 23, 2019 at 10:27

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