Garden

Chervil - Anthriscus cerefolium


Generalitа


Anthriscus cerefolium is an annual herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe; dense form of erect stems, 30-40 cm tall, with small, thin green leaves, similar to parsley, with a delicate anise aroma. In summer it produces small pink or white flowers. A. sylvestris is perennial and has leaves similar to those of ferns.

The chervil


Chervil is an aromatic plant that is relatively uncommon and used in our country. In Italy, in fact, it is much more common and used parsley because they have a very similar taste: the chervil, however, is more delicate and consequently could be used effectively in all those dishes where the light flavor of the dish must only be exalted from seasonings and absolutely not covered.
This aromatic is on the contrary very popular in the countries of Central Europe and North America. The Anthriscus cerefolium is very often found in recipes based on fish, meat or vegetables and assiduously becomes a decisive flavor in the accompanying sauces. If we like its taste and want to use it regularly in our kitchen it is advisable to devote to its cultivation to have it always available fresh.
Its leaves, in fact, can be found on the market also dried, but a good part of the perfume and flavor is dispersed during the procedure.





























































Type of plant
Annual-biennial
Foliage frail
Adult height 30-70 cm
Cultivation simple
Multiplication seed
Resistance to cold Up to -15 ° C
Pests and diseases Limacce, in spring
Need water average
Exposure rapid
Type of soil Adaptable: from sandy to rich
soil pH neutral
Soil moisture Well drained
Place of planting Full earth, vase, balconies
Growth rapid
Purposes In the borders, in the garden, in pots on balconies or terraces

Cultivation techniques


The chervil grows best if it is sown in a cool period, so it should be sown in early spring, or even in winter in a cold greenhouse; this trick, and the subsequent transplanting into the ground, guarantee lush and compact seedlings. For consumption, the stems are cut and used fresh, it is advisable not to cut the central stems, to allow the plant to continue to develop.

Description and origin of chervil



Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is an annual plant from Asia, particularly from the plains of central Russia and from the highlands of the Caucasus. It is an umbrella tree and belongs to the Apiaceae family.
It can reach a maximum height of 70 cm, although this depends strictly on the type of soil and the exposure. The leaves are finely carved, light green, but lively and give off a clearly identifiable aroma. Their shape has made them very popular for decorating dishes, to which it gives a touch of elegance and freshness.
The flowering, which should be delayed as much as possible if the foliage is to be preserved for culinary purposes, occurs naturally in early summer. The corymbs are the characteristic umbels (very similar to those produced from parsley or carrots) composed of a multitude of small white flowers.
The cultivation of the Anthriscus cerefolium generally does not raise particular concerns, given that it is a very adaptable plant both in terms of soil and exposure. It is not even particularly afraid of the cold: it is therefore certainly an aromatic to be re-evaluated and put as much as possible in our gardens and in our kitchen. Not only our dishes will benefit, but also our health as it is considered an excellent source of mineral salts and especially of vitamin C.

Description and origin of chervil


Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is an annual plant from Asia, particularly from the plains of central Russia and from the highlands of the Caucasus. It is an umbrella tree and belongs to the Apiaceae family.
It can reach a maximum height of 70 cm, although this depends strictly on the type of soil and the exposure. The leaves are finely carved, light green, but lively and give off a clearly identifiable aroma. Their shape has made them very popular for decorating dishes, to which it gives a touch of elegance and freshness.
The flowering, which should be delayed as much as possible if the foliage is to be preserved for culinary purposes, occurs naturally in early summer. The corymbs are the characteristic umbels (very similar to those produced from parsley or carrots) composed of a multitude of small white flowers.
Cultivation generally does not raise particular concerns, given that it is a very adaptable plant both in terms of soil and exposure. It is not even particularly afraid of the cold: it is therefore certainly an aromatic to be re-evaluated and put as much as possible in our gardens and in our kitchen. Not only our dishes will benefit, but also our health as it is considered an excellent source of mineral salts and especially of vitamin C.

Location and uses



The Anthriscus cerefolium loves sunny or half-shade positions. The annual species does not fear the cold. The chervil can be grown both in the ground or in pots. It can therefore find a good location on a terrace, on a balcony or even inside, in a well-lit room and away from heat sources.
If, on the other hand, we have an outdoor green space, we can create a small area dedicated to aromatic herbs, where we can combine it with parsley, chives and tarragon, so as to always have the "fine herbs" so popular in French cuisine . We can also insert it in the vegetable garden or inside a mixed border where it can also be decorative thanks to the lively color and the particular shape of its leaves.
Some, however, advise against including this aromatic tuberous vegetables nearby (such as carrots, potatoes). It can in fact transmit them its particular taste which could then be unpleasant or too strong.

Ground


Grow the chervil in a well-drained and soft garden soil; plus the soil is rich in organic matter and the more this variety has a delicate aroma. Water regularly in spring and summer.
In order to grow at its best, without problems related to water stagnation, it is good to provide a light soil, but always capable of retaining a little moisture.
To have a vigorous growth we must position it where it is reached by at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. In summer, however, it is good to lightly repair it, especially during the afternoon, so that the leaves are not damaged by excessive heat.

Pests and diseases


this very rustic plant is unlikely to be attacked by pests or diseases.

Chervil history


In ancient times chervil was not known in Europe. It is mentioned for the first time around the year 700, then in the early Middle Ages. Probably he arrived in Europe thanks to the contacts that had developed with the Near East. It became quite popular in France and Germany. The Cistercian monks began to cultivate it together with other medicinal plants in their simple gardens, to be able to have it always available.

Purchase of seedlings or seeding



In Italy, as we have said, it is unfortunately a little known aromatic and consequently not very widespread. To buy a map it is undoubtedly necessary to contact a specialist dealer in this area.
A good alternative, for those who just can't find a retailer, it is undoubtedly the sowing that in this case is simple and almost certainly successful. Let us remember though to buy the seeds in a sachet so as to be certain that it is really chervil. In fact, in the spontaneous state, some very similar plants grow which are toxic and it is good not to take risks.
In order to use the leaves already in mid-spring it is better to sow at home already from the end of January to the beginning of February (also depending on our geographical location). The ideal is to use small jars of about 5 cm per side (or the alveolar crates). However, if we wish, we can also sow directly in the final jar.
The ideal soil for sowing must be light, but with a good percentage of organic material. It is advisable to mix some soil for flowering plants with a minimum part of very mature manure and coarse river sand. Spread the seeds at a distance of about 5 cm from each other and cover with about half a centimeter of vermiculite. We vaporize abundantly and cover with a plastic film so that the humidity remains high. To facilitate germination you can keep the jars always immersed in a finger of water, remembering however to aerate widely at least once a day to avoid the onset of mold. Everything must be kept at a temperature of about 18 ° C, in an area of ​​luminous shadow. In these conditions germination usually occurs in less than a week. We can then proceed by thinning out and eliminating the weakest plants and, once we have reached the third true leaf, cimando frequenting to obtain well-stocked specimens. You can start collecting the leaves after about a month and a half.

How long the chervil harvest lasts


A single plant generally guarantees two months of harvest. To lengthen this period as much as possible, it is good to always engage in cutting flower stems.
It is however a good idea, to have leaves until the autumn, to make a scaled seeding obtaining new seedlings every two months.

Other care


It is a very autonomous plant and needs nothing but some irrigation, especially in case of prolonged drought, and a good control of weeds, which could suffocate it. However, the soil must always be fresh: it may therefore be a good idea to prepare a mulch based on leaves or straw.
In case of heavy rains, especially in spring, it is advisable to monitor the presence of slugs or snails that could heavily damage our chervil.
To keep the plants alive even during the winter it is good, around October, to collect them in a bright room, but not excessively heated.

Harvest and storage of chervil


You can proceed either by taking only a few leaves from the top or by cutting the stem directly from the ground. This last solution is preferable because it stimulates the plant to produce new ones.
The leaves should be washed very gently. The ideal is to use them fresh, but they can also be dried (in the shade) or frozen.

Chervil variety



In our country the most sold variety is the common chervil. It exists also for a variety with curly leaves, with a less marked taste and perfume, but whose production lasts longer.
In Northern Europe, moreover, it is quite common to also consume the root of tuberous chervil, characterized by a particular sugary taste.

Chervil - Anthriscus cerefolium: Chervil in the kitchen and fine herbs


Fine herbs are a group of aromatic plants widely used in French cuisine, particularly in combination with vegetables, soups or sauces. Their particularity is that they must always be added at the end of cooking and cut at the moment to keep all their flavor and aroma, as well as not losing the many beneficial effects. They are also characterized by very thin stems: consequently the whole plant can be used.
The four traditional fine herbs are chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon, but some also use the pimpinella.
A very simple way to use them and to enhance their intense and fresh fragrance is to make a herb butter. First you need to keep the dough at room temperature for a couple of hours so that it becomes workable. The leaves are picked and crushed in a mortar or cut into very small pieces. Finally, work the butter with a wooden spoon to incorporate the aromas, adding a pinch of salt and finally putting everything in the fridge. It is excellent on bread or on croutons to accompany an aperitif.