Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
Redolent of anise or licorice, chervil’s lacy tufts pop up here and there in our garden, as shiny black seeds drop from mother plants. Such a nice plant, with its soft, feathery, fragrant, white lace-cap flowers: it’s tempting to let them all grow. But chervil (just like dill) can take up too much space—up to a metre high and half that wide—and crowd the neighbours. Better all around to keep it in check.
Frost doesn’t faze chervil. A perpetual patch starts in early spring with seeds scattered over the ground and barely covered. Thin seedlings to a hand-span apart, pick leaves as needed and let one plant run to seed. With just a minimal amount of care, this hardy, aromatic annual (or biennial) will never be lost in your garden.
- Chop fresh herbs by hand with a sharp chef’s knife. Using a food processor can bruise the leaves and affect both their taste and texture.
- To quick-dry herbs in the oven, scatter leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet or perforated pizza pan. Warm the oven to its lowest setting, then turn off the heat. Set herbs in the oven and leave until it has cooled down. Repeat a time or two more until herbs are crisp and dry.