Garden Chervil Plants

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Misc Culinary

Anthriscus cerefolium

See full product description Bareroot and Potted Plant

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SIZES 1-2 3-89+
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Anthriscus cerefolium

As a young plant it is easy to confuse Chervil with cow parsley with its ferny, light green leaves and umbels of white flowers, making it a pretty plant. However for use as a culinary herb you just want the leaves which are very soft and delicate and take on a purple tinge over the winter. Chervil is a member of the parsley family and a welcome addition to our range of UK grown herbs.

The leaves taste like a more delicate parsley but with a touch of aniseed. Chervil is included as one of the fines herbes making it an essential part of French cookery. As a member of the Umbelliferae family it has a long tap root and so does not like being disturbed once planted. Another suggestion for those who like that slight anise flavour is to try growing dill as well.

Chervil, the chef's herb

Chervil should be harvested during the summer when about 10 -15 cms tall, not only because the leaves are at their most delicious but also to prevent flowering. It is a real cut and come again herb so try to grow the plants so that they are in shade at midday during the summer at least. One idea is to try inter-planting chervil with larger herbs or vegetables or under deciduous shade which will provide the summer shade but will leave the chervil enough light in winter so that you can protect it with a cloche or fleece and keep on harvesting the leaves throughout the winter.

Chervil also lends itself to being grown in a pot where you can snip bits off whenever you need some. As with all herbs it is preferable to use chervil fresh, but it can be frozen successfully. When used in cooking, add the herb towards the end so that it does not lose its flavour. It partners fish, chicken and egg dishes marvellously and is an excellent addition to soups and salads. Chervil enlivens béarnaise sauces and is the best herb to chop into an omelette but for the full herb experience grow the other fines herbes too - tarragon, parsley and chives - and use the lot!

Chervil Features

  • Height: 30-60 cm
  • Spread: 30 cm
  • Colour: light green fern like foliage, clusters of white flowers like cow parsley
  • Flowers: spring/summer
  • Uses: culinary, herb
  • Spacing: 25 - 30 cm
  • Taste: delicate parsley with anise overtones
  • Harvest: when 10 cm tall or at 6-8 weeks old, then all year round
  • Life: hardy annual
The marvel of chervil

Apart from its place in French "cheffery", chervil was known as one of the Lenten herbs attributed with blood cleansing and restorative properties. Consequently, it was consumed in large quantities during Lent and particularly on Maundy Thursday. For more modern-day concerns, an infusion of the leaves is meant to discourage wrinkles!

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Bareroot planting is best done between October and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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