Anthriscus cerefolium

Chervil, French Parsley


Anthriscus Cerefolium is a fairly low-growing plant, reaching a height of 30 cm and growing to about the same width. It can grow in full sun or semi-shade and prefers light, free draining, composted soil. Also known as Chervil, it grows well in pots and window boxes and if kept in shape through frequent use and pruning it will grow into a bushy plant with plenty of its very attractive lacy leaves. The fresh leaves and flowers have a light, subtle flavour that does not withstand drying or prolonged cooking so they should only be added just before serving.

Chervil works well on its own and in combination with other herbs. In French cuisine it is an essential ingredient of fines herbs, a mix of equal parts of chervil, tarragon, parsley and chives, which is often added to omelettes and sauces. On its own this herb is good for flavouring egg and cheese dishes, vegetables, white sauce, soups, chicken and white fish. The raw leaves provide more Vitamin C, carotene, iron and magnesium than those that have been subjected to any degree of cooking and they make a nutritious addition to salads, herb dressings and herb butters.

The Gardener