CHERVIL (Anthriscus cerefolium)

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CHERVIL (Anthriscus cerefolium)


Chervil leaves are used for the aniselike flavor that they impart to soups, salads, egg dishes, meat, fish, and vegetables. When used with other herbs, chervil enhances their flavor. This is an annual that grows 1 to 2 feet tall and 10 to 12 inches wide. It is simialar in appearance to parsley, with lacy, light green leaves. The small, white umbrellalike flowers appear 8 to 10 weeks after planting.

Because chervil is difficult to transplant, sow the seeds directly into a well-drained, partially shaded part of the garden. Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart when they are 4 inches tall. Make successive plantings every 2 to 3 weeks to ensure a constant supply. Since new growth is most fragrant, pinch off flower heads as they develop to promote vegetative growth. Flower heads that are left will reseed the plant. Fresh chervil has the best flavor; this flavor is quickly lost in cooking.

SOURCE: James C. Schmidt Department of Horticulture Michigan State University

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