Lately, when I head out into the garden in the late afternoon to pick some mixed leafy greens for a salad,I stop at our woolly-headed chervil pot and pick a few of its soft, mildly aniseed-tinged leaves to add their gentle, pleasant flavour to the mix. This lovely little potted herb is one of the stars of our garden right now. It's such a beautiful green colour.
|Extremely up close and personal, you can see why some people|
mistake chervil for parsley, but chervil leaves are much smaller
than parsley, and have an altogether different flavour.
|This pot full of baby chervil has probably the softest foliage |
of any plant I have ever touched, so soft you sometimes wonder
whether it's actually there. It's round, like a head of fluffy,
woolly hair, and that green colour is freshness itself.
The flavour of chervil is more delicate than parsley, so it's at its best in a salad, or tossed into a pot moments before serving. It also adds a real flavour lift to blandish vegies such as zucchini (courgette) and squash.
Flat-leaf parsley, by comparison, has a more robust flavour that contributes itself to soups, casseroles and other slow-cooked dishes, pasta sauces, salads such as Lebanese tabouleh, and spice pastes such as North African chermoula.
I'm still exploring chervil's uses (and I suspect there will be many) but discovering its vividly green, soft-leafed beauty is a very pleasant thing indeed.