What is Chervil?
Chervil is a spring herb that originated from Eastern Europe. It is related to the parsley, and in fact, it is known as French parsley based on the important role it plays in French cuisine.
Of all the herbs we use regularly, chervil is by far the least well known (except in France!) and is not used as often in salads. I’m not sure why that is, considering they are so lovely to look at.
Their leaves are small, delicate and look a little like the tops of Dutch carrot greens. Not as curly as the parsley, and it has a lovely shade of light green.
Where Can I Find Chervil?
We love using chervil in our salads and side dishes, both as a herb as well as a garnish. It is often commented that it is difficult to find. Granted, they are seasonal compared to the other herbs, making them more challenging to procure.
Also, as it is not such a popular herb to use, they are more difficult to find, and you may have to venture out to markets or specialty grocers. They are not often available at mainstream supermarkets. I can assure you, however, if there were demand, they would become more readily available.
What Does Chervil Taste Like?
Flavour: The common word used to describe the taste of chervil is mild. This is why it’s such a wonderful herb to use, as it doesn’t take over the flavours of your dish.
It is said to be a cross between parsley and tarragon with a touch of liquorice. Those anise-like hints, however, lay in the background, slowly infusing into the other ingredients.
Texture: Chervil is light green, and the leaves are small and very delicate. The leaves are somewhat ruffled and lacy, and the stem is soft and thin.
How to Store Chervil?
If you’re not going to use the chervil straight away, the best way to store them would be to wrap them up in a damp cloth, place them in a bag and store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
If you wish to use them as a garnish, it is best to use them immediately to ensure they are still fresh and haven’t started going limp.
What Goes Well with Chervil?
Fruit and Vegetables
Asparagus, beans, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, celeriac, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, garlic, green beans, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, lemon, lemongrass, mushroom, onion, parsnip, peas, potato, pumpkin, radish, shallot, spaghetti squash
Herbs, Nuts and Spices
Basil, cardamom, cayenne pepper, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, macadamia, mint, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pine nut, pistachio, rosemary, sage, star anise, tarragon.
Protein and Other
Beef, bread, butter, chicken, crab, cream, creme fraiche, duck, egg, fish, goat cheese, ham, lentil, oyster, pork, prawns, wild rice, yoghurt.
How to Use Chervil in Salads and Side Dishes?
Like most herbs, they are mainly consumed as they are. Mixed through a salad or used as a garnish, it should be enjoyed in its natural form.
Chervil can be added into salad dressing, too, such as a classic green goddess dressing. Instead of parsley, chervil could be used instead. It can be infused in oil, made into butter or even dried to create rubs or marinades.
Salads and Side Dishes with Chervil
Pickled pearl onions with the caramel, sticky goodness of Medjool dates, and you’ll have yourself a mouthful of big flavours. Stir through with the nutty and peppery puy lentils to give you a puy lentil salad worth coming back for.
Dust off that zoodle maker to create the quickest vegan zucchini noodle salad in under 10 minutes. No, seriously, it’s that easy. Chop, scoop and mix, and you’ll have yourself a flavourful salad to add to your dinner party menu.
Sprinkle the paprika sunflower seeds over the perfectly Roasted Green Cauliflower Salad to give it a little kick. Finish it off with a cream whipped feta dressing and loads of herbaceous goodness. Yum!
More Ingredient Pairing Ideas
If you’d like to create your own side dish or salad and have an ingredient you’d like to hero, we have some great pairing suggestions to help you work out what flavours go well together!
- What Goes Well with Corn
- What Goes Well with Broccoli
- What Goes Well with Watermelon
- What Goes Well with Zucchini
- What Goes Well with Blueberry
Easy Side Dish Recipes
Cooking up a storm and need a good side dish or two? We have a comprehensive collection of side dish recipes for you to choose from. Here are some recipe you may like:
- Baked Miniature Pumpkins with Shitake
- Hot and Sour Stir Fried Lotus Root
- Grilled Bok Choy with Crispy Garlic
More Salad Dressing Recipes
Be inspired by our huge collection of homemade salad dressing recipes. Perfect way to reduce wastage, control the flavours to suit your palate and be able to experiment with new flavours!
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