Chervil is a highly flavored herb with a strong influence of anise and a hint of parsley flavor. This herb, belonging to the carrot family with the similar green tops as carrots, is considered an important ingredient in the French cuisine. Chervil recipes generally have a warm fragrance and a pungent flavor because of the herb. This lacy looking fern like herb grows up to 2 ft with small white colored umbel shaped flowers, light green leaves and thin white roots and has a licorice or terragon kind of taste. Some common chervil recipes include soups, stews and eggs. In fact, many cuisines across the world add flavor to their food by including chervil.
History of Chervil Recipes
Chervil has been symbolic of sincerity as mentioned in the bible. In fact, this pungent herb was also referred to as “myrrhis”, because of its qualities resembling that of the ancient biblical myrrh that had the ability to bring out a little wit in people along with merry making nature and youthfulness. These qualities were a result of the pungent oil extract of the chervil leaves. It is believed that this herb was brought by the wise men when they visited baby Jesus and because of this chervil recipes such as soups are served on Holy Thursday. Because of the warmth of chervil, it was known to be used as a healing herb during the Middle Ages, especially to treat ailments such as hiccups. History is proof of many more such medicinal properties of chervil.
Culinary Uses in Chervil Recipes
Chervil, because of its strong flavor, is generally used in moderation either on its own or in combination with other herbs such as parsley, chives, and tarragon. In fact, whenever the herb is used in various recipes, it tends to bring out the essence and flavors of other herbs. However, because of its ability to lose its intense flavor when exposed to sunlight or too much heat, chervil recipes generally are cooked with this herb being added towards the end of the cooking process. If one wishes to garnish and also season dishes made of eggs such as omelet, in cream cheese, herb sandwiches, salads, and even mashed potatoes, the ideal ingredient is chervil. Chervil is a spring time garden herb and because of this, it is a natural inclusion to dishes made from spring time foods such as young asparagus, new potatoes, carrots, green beans, spring greens salads, salmon and trout.
Popular Chervil Recipes of Various Cuisines
Chervil is most commonly used in herb blends for soups, salads and other dishes. One popular herb blend is where this pleasantly flavored herb is combined with thyme, rosemary, celery and sage. There are many more such herb blends such Country Herb Blend, Delightful herb Spread, etc, which are generally used in soups, salads, potatoes dishes, butter sauces, etc. These chervil herb blends are popular not only in French cuisine, but also in American cuisine.
Non-Culinary Uses of Chervil
Chervil is not only used for culinary purpose, but also for treating many ailments. It is known to reduce blood pressure when consumed in the form of tea and when used as eyewash, it is known to refresh the eyes. Because of the high amounts of bioflavonoid, chervil is consumed for absorbing vitamin C in the body. Even digestive problems are known to be cured with chervil.
Chervil leaves have been in use in the form of tonic by the French and Norwegians for thousands of years. In fact, the main meal in these countries is accompanied by a bowl of soup made from leaves of the herb. When combined with watercress, chervil is known to help combat vitamin and mineral deficiencies.