Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
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Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is a delicate annual herb related to parsley. Sometimes called garden chervil, it is used to season mild-flavoured dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes.
A member of the Apiaceae, chervil is native to the Caucasus but was spread by the Romans through most of Europe, where it is now naturalised.
The plants grow to 40-70cm, with tripinnate leaves that may be curly. The small white flowers form small umbels, 2.5-5cm across. The fruit is about 1cm long, oblong-ovoid with a slender, ridged beak.
Sometimes referred to as “gourmet’s parsley”, chervil is used to season poultry, seafood, and young vegetables. It is particularly popular in France, where it is added to omelettes, salads and soups. More delicate than parsley, it has a faint taste of liquorice.
Chervil is sometimes used as a trap crop by gardeners to protect vegetable plants from slugs.