Chervil has the most favor when the plant is young. Snip an entire branch at the base and harvest the outer leaves first to encourage bushier growth. Chervil has a long taproot that should be checked monthly. Trim any roots that are brown or extending past the yPod. Chervil can bolt quickly in warmer environments. Snip any flowers to extend life of plant. Once the plant flowers, the leaves can begin to lose flavor. If the leaves turn brown or purple, it is time to replace it.
Locally naturalized to the Mediterranean region, Chervil was once referred to as “Myrhis” for the similarity of its essential oil to the resinous substance of Myrrh. It has a long history in traditional medicine to treat inflammatory conditions, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, and even alleviate hiccups.
Chervil is a dietary source of vitamin A, vitamin C, carotene, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, folate, phosphorus, selenium, and healthful flavonoids apiin and luteolin-glycosides (antioxidants).
Chervil flavor has been described as a cross between tarragon and parsley, with subtle hints of licorice or anise. Chervil is a staple in French cooking, it is part of the aromatic blend “Les Fines Herbs” and may also be included in “Les Herbs de Provence”. Being a springtime herb, Chervil is commonly paired with trout, salmon, baby green salads, young asparagus, and baby green beans and carrots. Chervil is a versatile herb that can make everyday staples, such as eggs or potatoes, more flavorful and exciting. As a garnish, Chervil can be used similar to parsley, finely chopped and sprinkled on meats, fish, soups, and salads. It can also be used in baked products, blended in herb butters, and paired with soft cheeses. Chervil’s flavor notes are lost during drying or prolonged heating, so it’s best to use it fresh and at the final stages of cooking.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, chervil, shallots, and salt and pepper in a small bowl or container. Stir or shake to blend well.