LAST week I was inspired by the fresh tasting mint plant, and this week I’m sticking with the green herb theme but opting for parsley.

I imagine you would find few kitchens without this diverse herb.

Fantastic for seasoning, playing the star of the show or simply garnishing, parsley can play many roles.

Coming in two varieties, you can either get curly leaf or flatleaf parsley.

And though they are not on the whole very different, flatleaf has a slightly stronger flavour.

The two types are used throughout Europe, America and most commonly in the Middle East.

You see it in Middle Eastern salads such as tabbouleh - parsley, mint, onion, tomatoes with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

This kind of thing is getting trendier these days, and you’ll often find this salad with an addition of bulgur wheat or cous cous.

Parsley is also the main ingredient in the popular Italian salsa verde, great with fish, and commonly used in soups across Europe, in stews, marinades or sprinkled on top of dishes to add colour and flavour.

It is always best to try get your hands on as frsh produce as you can manage, but it is also wise to keep a stock of dried herbs and spices ‘just in case’.

The Honeypot, Hawkshead, has a 10g jar of dried parsley leaves at £1.40. This is great for those spur of the moment cooking sessions, or even to sprinkle over baby new potatoes with butter.

They also have a 280g pouch of Cottage Delight Tuscan vegetable soup at £3.99. This would be ideal for either a hearty soup or as a basis for a stew by simply adding chicken or beef.

Why not get back to basics and make your own stew from scratch? Greenbanks, Kendal,...

Head to Dales Butcher, Kirkby Lonsdale, for the meat - whether you opt for a stew or just a sauce. They have leg of lamb at £13.18 per kilo and shoulder of lamb at £9.58 per kilo.

You could even try your hand at slow roasted lamb with salsa verde - green sauce with parsley, garlic, capers, gherkins, anchovies, mustard and wine vinegar.

Or make Greek-style koftas with parsley and minced lamb at £10.98 per kilo.

If lamb isn’t to your taste, Witherslack Community Stores has frozen fish from Flookburgh-based Fish Fanatics. Choose between two loins of tuna or two fillets of haddock both priced at £6.95.

Pan fry your fish and enjoy with salsa verde and in season potatoes.

Fish lovers can also head to Plumgarths Farm Shop, Kendal, where they have Chapman’s smoked haddock and bacon or classic fish and parsley fishcakes at £3.95 for two.

For the perfect accompaniment, Low Sizergh Barn, Kendal, has Potts’ parsley sauce at £3.40 (350g jar) plus Cottage Delight garlic and parsley mini bread sticks at £3.25 (200g) to enjoy alongside.

They also have a Gordon Rhodes country herb and chestnut stuffing mix at £1.99 (125g) to go with your roast lamb.

Grange Bakery has a strong-tasting rye loaf to soak up the stew leftovers. Their Last Wolf rye at £2.39 is made using Cartmel’s Unsworth’s Yard Brewery ale, Last Wolf.