Friday, June 26, 2009

Kitchen Herb - Chervil

Chervil is a member of the Apiaceae family, and is a much underused kitchen herb. Culinary Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) should not be confused with wild Chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffm.) which, according to the USDA Plants Database, is a noxious weed in Washington State and is prohibited in Massachusetts. Chervil is one of my favorite herbs and I grow it every year starting from seeds. It can be planted in your herb garden or grown in pots, as shown in my photo above. The blooms are white -- similar to parsley umbels -- but much smaller and sized to fit the 12-18 inch plant. When the flowers go to seed, the seeds are easy to collect and save.

Chervil reminds me of a smaller, more delicate version of parsley, only chervil has a hint of anise flavor to it. Chervil can be used alone or in combination with other herbs; and is one of the classic herbs in the French 'fines herbes' (pronounced FEEN erb or FEENZ ehrb) - a blend of: chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon.

Chervil is wonderful in compound butter blends, herbal vinegars and can be added to just about any food you can think of. Its delicate flavor is most appreciated in foods such as Fines Herbes Sauce for roast chicken or in recipes with eggs, like quiche, custards and omelets. Chervil also adds a pleasant taste to soups, seafood, potatoes and sautéed vegetables.

  • This little herb will increase the nutrition profile of your GardenCuizine. Use it liberally and reap the benefits of the following per teaspoon: Dietary Fiber 0.1g, Calcium 8g, Iron .19g, Magnesium 1g, Phosphouus 3g, Potassium 28g, Vitamin C 0.3g, Folate 2g, Vitamin A 35 IU plus other nutrients
Calculated per teaspoon dried chervil, USDA National Nutrient Standard Reference

No comments: