Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), Anthriscus cerefolium Hoffm.
Chervil has been used since ancient Roman times. The flavor is somewhere between tarragon and parsley. Its delicate fern-like leaves have a mild and delicious flavor. It is added raw to salads, or tossed in at the last minute with cooked foods.
How to grow: Till or spade the garden area and rake it smooth. Scatter the seeds over the soil. Press down on the seeds gently to improve contact with the soil. Water every day. Seedlings emerge in about 14 days. Plants are ready for harvesting about 10 weeks after planting. Grow chervil in a lightly shaded area, because too much sun will burn the leaves and turn them a bright pink.
Maintenance: Water twice weekly to promote lush growth. Avoid watering overhead, instead water around the base of the plants. Do not fertilize chervil. Moist soil is the only requirement needed by the growing plant.
Harvesting: Because chervil’s growth habit resembles parsley, harvest leaves from the outside. Use small pruning shears or scissors to snip the leaves. Wrap the leaves in damp paper towels and keep them chilled in the fridge until needed.
Cooking: Use chervil fresh in cooking because its delicate flavor is lost with excessive heat or drying. Chervil goes well with glazed carrots or peas, in butter sauces or creamed soups. Chervil can also be frozen in ice cube trays for later use. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of finely minced chervil to each square and fill with water. Freeze the trays. When frozen, remove the cubes and store in freezer bags. Be sure to label the contents. Use within six months.
FYI : Because chervil has a long tap root, the plants do not easily transplant. Chervil can be grown indoors in a sunny window. Fill small pots or containers with potting soil, moisten the soil and sprinkle seeds on top. Choose an area that receives morning sun. Keep the plants well watered and mist weekly.
Blessed be, sweet ones.
~ Meadow Walker