A Staple in French Cooking, but Under Utilized Elsewhere
With a milder flavor than parsley, it is in the same family. It is member of the fine herbes (chervil, tarragon, parsley and chives) blend commonly found in French cooking, but rarely seen in recipes anywhere else. And it really should be part of every homecook’s repertoire. With it’s mild flavor it goes wonderfully with a roasted chicken, a delicate white fish, or as an herb pesto over pasta.
Chervil’s unique taste
The flavor is not as bitter as parsley, nor as pronounced, and one could say it has licorice undertones, bordering on anise-but mildly so. It gets a bit hidden with the fine herbes blend, but gives a different nuance that is commonly found in French classic dishes. Since herbs and spices can be controlled in the home kitchen, as opposed to restaurant dishes, chervil provides a mild flavor, when simplicity is all that is called for.
Gently seasoned recipes with Chervil to try:
Kerbelsuppe (Cream of Chervil Soup) from Sauver Magazine
Salmon with Sauce Vierge by Steven Doherty from Great British Chefs
Flan with Green Herbs by Jacques Pepin from KQED
- 16oz/450g ravioli or tortellini
- 1 bunch fresh chervil, stems removed
- 6oz/170ml EVOO
- salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to directions on the container.
Clean and remove the stems from the chervil.
Place chervil into a food processor and add olive oil, salt and pepper.
Blend to make a thick pesto (sauce).
Place pasta on a serving plate and toss with the chervil pesto.
This is a process that can be used universally with many fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, basil, and cilantro.