This has leaves which can be used like parsley, roots which taste like well-flavoured parsnips with a hint of celery, and a constitution which allows it to succeed in shade... and yet hamburg parsley is hardly ever grown in Britain.

You should dig the soil thoroughly in winter- work in well-rotted compost. Then sow in mid March- if possible cover the soil with cloches for a few weeks prior to sowing- otherwise choose a suitable day in mid April. Sow seeds half an inch deep in drills 1 ft apart and thin seedlings to 9 in. apart. Make sure the land is hoed an watered, and in November the first roots will be ready for lifting. They should be about 8 in long and can be left in the ground over winter for you to dig up as required. Instead, you can lift and store the roots in the same way as parsnips.

Remove the stalks and fine roots and scrub thoroughly but do not peel before cooking. Cook them like parsnips- if they are to be cubed or sliced sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discolouration. The best way to cook hamburg parsley is by roasting or frying them as chips.

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