How I use herbs - chervil

Sep 07 2015 0 Comments Tags: garden, herbs

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) was completely new to me until I bought some seeds on a whim.  I had never tasted it and had no idea what it looked like or what to do with it!  Like dill and parsley, chervil is now one of the herbs that self-seeds in my garden and appears each autumn as the weather cools.

eight acres: how to grow and use chervil


How to grow chervil
Chervil grows easily from seeds.  I just scattered them around the garden at first, and now it self-seeds.  No special treatment required.  It grows best in the cooler months, in shade, with plenty of moisture.  It dies off in summer in my garden, after producing flowers and seeds.  It doesn't grow very big, so its best to seed generously and weed out unwanted plants later.

How to use chervil
Chervil is very similar to parsley, but has a more subtle flavour, with a faint hint of aniseed.  I enjoy it chopped up with parsley, nasturtium leaves, coriander leaves, basil and anything else fresh and green (purslane, herb robert etc) as a garnish in salads or added to soups and casseroles after cooking.  After I started growing chervil I recognised it in a salad at a fancy lunch event that I went to for work, so I am feeling very fashionable!

Medicinally, chervil is said to be good for digestion, as a blood cleanser, to lower blood pressure, and as a diuretic.  The juice can be used for skin conditions and a tea made from the leaves is used for eye conditions.

In the garden, if you let chervil flower it produces large umbels, which are attractive to beneficial insects.  Apparently the leaves can also be used to repel ants - I haven't tried that one though.

Do you grow chervil?  Do you use it in cooking or medicinally?


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