The Herb of the Month for April 2021 is Chervil Anthriscus cerefolium
Chervil is prized for its leaves which have a subtle flavor akin to a mix of parsley, tarragon, mint and anise. The leaves are similar to curly parsley and carrots since they are in the same family.
The Roman referred to it as ‘myrrhis’ because of its subtle myrrh aroma. The French enjoy using it in the herb fines blend which includes chives, tarragon, and parsley.
As with cilantro, this herb prefers spring and fall temperatures and does well if seeds are sown successively. This is important because the herb does not transplant well due to its long taproot. It will do well with afternoon shade and mulching in our hot climate. As the plant begins to produce flowers, the leaves become somewhat bitter, but the flowers will be a delightful addition to salads.
Chervil comes to us from the Caucasus and western Asia. It was introduced by the Romans throughout their empire, including Europe. Chervil was cultivated and valued during the Middle Ages.
Throughout time, chervil has been used medicinally. Some of the earliest documented uses were by the ancient Greeks. The Roman, Pliny the Elder, included it in spring tonics. Chervil is added to vinegars and also used to treat the eyes, alleviate digestive issues, purify the blood and more.
One Skillet Breakfast
- 4 strips bacon cut into lardons* (see Note below)
- ⅓ cup leeks sliced
- ½ cup mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup zucchini chopped
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup half and half
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh chervil for garnish
- Sauté the bacon in a heated skillet until crisp. Set aside and drain.
- Remove half of the bacon drippings ,and sauté the vegetables until tender.
- Beat the eggs, adding the half and half,
- Pour the mixture over the softened vegetable mixture. Cover and lower the heat until done.
- Use fresh chopped chervil and bacon as garnish. Can use any favorite vegetable mixture.
- 2 cups chervil
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ⅓ cup virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- ⅛ t citric acid See note below.
- sea salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse lightly, adding the olive oil as needed.
- You may wish to incorporate some finely chopped chervil into the paste for interest.
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup finely chopped chervil
- Combine the above ingredients and shake well before use.