Growing Chervil in the Herb Garden
Chervil is an attractive herb, with its feathery foliage and summer flowers; growth reaches between 12in (30cm) and 20in (50cm) in height. The delicate, sweet taste can be added to your cooking through winter as well as summer, by means of repeated small sowings which yield a harvest in under two months.
Chervil can be grown as a biennial to supply two crops from one sowing, the first within six to nine weeks of sowing and another before the flowers appear in the second year of growth. Alternatively, it can be grown as an annual and the plants discarded when the best leaves have been taken.
Sow in pots and trays in small quantities; transplant to larger pots oras growth develops, and provide a rich, moist but free-draining . Place in good light or partial shade, but do not expose the plants to direct sun, which encourages them to run to seed.
Arrange succession sowings from early spring for summer crops; from late summer to early autumn for winter use. Take the outer leaves when harvesting, leaving the centre of the plant to produce new growth. Chervil should be picked immediately before use.
This is a mild-flavoured herb which may be used as an ingredient or a garnish. Use it to make herb butter for fish and poultry or add it to the final cooking stage of soups and sauces. It enhances the flavour of other herbs when they are used in combination. It is particularly good in omelettes and other egg dishes and chopped chervil makes a pleasant garnish for roast meats and vegetables.