What is Chervil?
Chervil is a delicate annual herb related to parsley. Many also call it garden chervil or French parsley.
You can best use it to season mild-flavored dishes. An important constituent of the French herb mixture ‘fines herbes’.
A member of the Apiaceae, chervil is native to the Caucasus. Today, you’ll find this spring plant cultivated across Europe and America.
Chervil leaves are delicate and curly like the carrot greens. It has frillier and paler leaves than flat-leaf parsley.
In most places, fresh or dried chervil is available in most grocery stores; frozen and dried chervil stalks and leaves are available from online sellers.
What Does Chervil Taste Like?
More delicate than parsley, it has a faint taste of licorice or aniseed. The taste of this herb lies somewhere between parsley and tarragon.
In French cooking, chervil is one of the four traditional French fines herbes, along with chives, parsley, and tarragon.
The subtle flavor of chervil is a wonderful addition to your dishes with fish, poultry, or cheese.
This herb is a must-have ingredient to make an authentically flavored ravigote sauce. Similarly, it can provide a unique and flavorful touch to your salad.
Uses of Chervil
The mild and delicate flavor of chervil makes it an agreeable ingredient in most recipes, especially in French cuisines.
Chervil is included in the fines herbes blend, along with parsley, tarragon, and chives. This spice blend is part and parcel of several French cuisines including poultry and egg dishes, as well as salads and soups.
Without hesitation, you can add it to soups and salads for it won’t overpower other ingredients.
Use it in herb-infused oil, herb butter, or herb pesto to use with soups, salads fish, poultry, or eggs.
The herb is an essential ingredient in making classic Béarnaise sauce and flavorful addition to omelets.
While cooking, use it at the last minute as its flavor can’t withstand prolonged cooking.
Chervil Health Benefits
Usually, most people consume a small amount of fresh chervil which does provide only a little amount of nutritional value to health. One tablespoon of dried chervil has just over four calories according to USDA data. Eating one or two tablespoons of fresh or dried chervil provides a little amount of micronutrients only. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and riboflavin. Minerals such as iron, calcium, selenium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium are also present.
Some of the lab studies indicate the potential antioxidant effects of chervil. Antioxidants help to prevent or delay cell damage, specifically, the oxidative stress that may occur when your body is exposed to free radicals.
Medical experts recommend eating whole foods rich in antioxidants over getting antioxidants in supplement form.
Chervil is well known for its several medicinal uses and benefits in folk medicines. For example, it helps to lower blood pressure and improves digestion. Drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar infused with chervil may help cure hiccups.
This herb is said to be effective for:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney stones
- Digestive disorders
- Pockets of infection
- Reducing water weight
Still, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to prove if chervil can help treat any of these conditions.
What can be used in place of chervil?
The best substitutes for chervil are:
- Fennel Leaves.
What is chervil called in English?
In English “chervil” is called French parsley or garden chervil (because there are also other similar plants called chervil).
Can I eat chervil raw?
Yes. Chervil can be eaten raw or cooked. In fact, cooking will destroy a good portion of its mild flavor. This herb is very tender and can be tossed into dishes at the very last seconds of cooking or eaten raw. Green salads with raw chervil taste great.
Is dried chervil good?
Dried chervil loses a good portion of the original flavor and contributes little to a dish. If you want to exploit the full potential of chervil, use fresh chervil in your dishes. However, fresh chervil is mostly available in spring and summer and is scarcely available for the rest of the year, thus dried chervil is often used in place of fresh.
Is chervil tea good for you?
Chervil is a good source of vitamins A, C, B6, folate, and riboflavin. It contains a significant amount of a few important minerals like iron, calcium, selenium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Chervil tea can aid with digestive issues and can be used as a soothing eyewash.
Can you freeze chervil?
Yes. The best way to preserve chervil for a long is by freezing it. The process involves:
- gently wash and trim the stalks with leaves.
- thoroughly dry the leaves.
- place the dried leaves in a freezer bag and begin freezing.
Can you be allergic to chervil?
Some may develop an allergy to chervil but that is very rare. The symptoms of such allergy may involve throat itching, uvula swelling, voice changes, or diarrhea. According to an allergological workup performed in 2018, a case of IgE-dependent allergy to garden chervil was established.
How do you keep chervil fresh?
Keep chervil fresh for up to 10 days by placing them in a jar of water, covered with a lid in the refrigerator. To preserve chervil for up to 6 months, keep it frozen in the refrigerator. It’s important to place the leaves in airtight freezing bags or boxes for freezing. Many cooks prefer to freeze chervil immersed in butter or oil.
How long does dried chervil last?
If stored properly, dried chervil will keep good for 1 to 3 years. Storing the dried leaves in an airtight container and keeping it in a cool, dry place is necessary to protect their flavor and potency.