The herb chervil is tough to find in the grocery store. Grow your own to eliminate the hunt for this deliciously delicate herb. Dainty leaves resemble parsley but the flavor is more like tarragon or basil with a touch of anise mixed in. Chervil brings wonderful flavor to salads, sauces, soups, and sautés. It is difficult to preserve chervil, so enjoy it fresh and plant a new crop about every 3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
Plant chervil in the ground or a large container in a kitchen-side herb garden. Then all you have to do is walk out the kitchen door and snip some when you want to add fresh flavor to your favorite dishes. Pair chervil with parsley, rosemary, sage, basil, thyme, oregano, dill, chives, and mint for a well-stocked herb garden.
How to Care For Chervil
Chervil is easy to grow from seeds sown directly in the garden in late fall or spring. This herb thrives in cool temperatures and moist soil. Select a full-sun spot in cool Zones, light shade or filtered sun in hot climates. Sow seeds 1 to 2 inches apart in well-worked, fertile soil. Because seeds require light for germination, cover the seeds lightly or not at all. Keep them evenly moist until germination. Thin seedlings to 4 inches apart when they are large enough to handle.
Chervil does not transplant well, so don't bother starting seeds indoors. Instead plant seeds directly in the garden in early spring.
Begin harvesting chervil leaves when plants are 8 to 10 inches tall. Harvest leaves sparingly until plants begin to grow robustly. Toss the herb in salads or into hot foods after cooking.