If you don’t grow your own, you probably will not have the privilege of enjoying this fresh herb in the spring and fall. Chervil’s delicate anise flavor and dainty appearance make this a must grow herb for herb gardeners and foodies.
Chervil Anthriscus cerefolium, is a mild flavored, delicate cool season annual.
Direct seed chervil in early spring. Plant in filtered sun or light shade if climate is hot areas. Sow seeds an inch apart in well worked soil. Barely cover and keep soil moist. Germinates in 10 to 14 days.
Chervil grows to 10 -12 inches tall. Once seeds germinate and grow 1 inch tall, thin seedlings to one plant every 6 inches or so. Chervil has a delicate tap root and does not transplant well.
Plant chervil in partial shade or, in the spotty shade under other plants. It grows best in moist soil and cool spring weather.
I use chervil (pronounced SHER-vil) in delicate dishes, like tomorrows breakfast omelet. Sprigs of chervil will top the deviled eggs and, in a nonmayonnaise based potato salad.
As soon as the weather heats up, chervil plants bolt (flower and set seed) By June, my plants have set seed. After seeds are brown and dry, I’ll collect them to reseed in the fall and next spring.
Although you probably aren’t going to eat enough chervil to make a nutritional impact, it is a flavorful source of calcium and potassium.
Chervil is a delicate annual, growing only in cool weather. It’s a great herb for succession planting. Add a few seed to the garden every week in the spring to extend the season as long as possible.
The famous French herb blend uses chervil. The combo includes chervil, parsley, chives and French tarragon. Fines herbes (pronounced feens-erb) is best used fresh because the herbs lose a lot of flavor when dried.
Remember, anything you grow as an early spring crop can be grown fall crop. Sometimes veggies are even more successful since the soil is already warm.
Chervil Herb Butter
One of the best ways to preserve chervil is in butter.
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped chervil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Blend lemon juice, and chervil into softened butter. shape butter into a log and chill. Refrigerate or freeze butter log.
Chervil is sometimes used as a tarragon substitute. When cooking with chervil, add to dishes at the ending of cooking to preserve the delicate flavor.
Companion plant chervil near cabbages and kale. Chervil is said to help repel slugs. It is easy to grow as a container plant.
Chervil is a delicate herb with a short season. It’s rare that you will find it in the market. If you want to enjoy this herb, it’s best to grow it from seed. Make sure to save some seed so you can grow it again in the fall.