Also known as Gourmet Parsley and Garden Chervil. Can be used as fresh leaves or dried. Store dried leaves in a cool, dry, dark place away from heat light and moisture. Dried chervil will keep for 6 months.
Chervil is a delicate herb with subtle taste. It has a slightly anise-like flavor that can be quickly lost in cooking. Garnish salads with it, but serve it at the last moment. Chervil is a very popular herb in France.
It is one of the classic ingredients in the traditional French herb blend, Fines Herbes and is very popular in French cuisine. It has a delicate flavor and is suitable wherever parsley is used. Chop the leaf into soups, omelettes (fish and egg dishes in the last ten to twelve minutes of cooking so its flavor is not cooked away), salads, dressings and add to chicken before roasting.
Chervil is better used as a fresh herb because during a cooking process a lot of its anise - like aroma and parsley taste is lost.
Chervil is extremely delicate but may be preserved in vinegar and oil.
Cultivation of Chervil
Site: Light and well drained soil. Chervil goes to seed quickly in the heat, and unlike other culinary herbs, prefers a cool, moist and shaded location.
Propagation: Sow chervil seeds where it is to grow. A March sowing will provide a summer crop and an August sowing will provide leaves from autumn to spring.
Growing: Thin so that plants are 6 inches apart and water regularly in dry weather. Chervil is one of those herbs grows well in containers.
Harvesting: Remove leaves from the outside of the plant when gathering for the kitchen. At the same time remove most (but not all) flower-heads - leave a few to produce seeds for a self-sown crop next year.
Like with most herbs harvesting promotes new growth. Use only the young green leaves. When the plant matures and the leaves turn a purple, bronze color, the leaves lose their pungency.
Culinary Uses: Add finely chopped leaves to soups, fish and egg dishes, just before serving. Garnish salads with it. Add to dishes at the last moment before serving. Chervil is what gives Béarnaise its distinctive taste.
Chervil tastes great with salmon, trout, young asparagus, new potatoes, baby green beans and carrots, salads of spring greens. Chervil's flavor is lost very easily, either by drying or by heat.