Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 14:12:27 +0000
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: "Elizabeth Wicker" <wicker.POLARISTEL.NET>
Subject: Re: How to do Chervil?

> I purchased 16 parsley plants (I absolutely adore parsley), and without much thought plunked them into the ground, later finding out that I purchased the similar look alike chervil instead. What the heck do I do with 16 chervil plants? Can I use it as parsley? I can see that my ignorance is going to be expensive.

Chervil smells/tastes something like tarragon. You can use it as an alternative to parsley. I understand it's one of the ingredients in les fines herbes, a blend that's used in salads, stuffings, omelets, etc. (Thought about planting some, this year, but didn't--stuck with the parsley, which we also love.)

From: "E. Wicker" <wicker.POLARISTEL.NET>

> There is nothing in this world that can be used as an "alternative" to parsley <g>. Do you think that perhaps chervil is suited to flavoring oils and vinegars?

Gee, does this mean I have to quit using chervil instead of parsley? :-(

From: Penny Andrews <pandrews.STUDENTS.WISC.EDU>

chervil: the gourmet's parsley was the little sign posted at the herb store in the chervil section a few years back ... it helped me a lot to know how and where to experiment with it. you may have made a mistake that you will really enjoy.

From: "E. Wicker" <wicker.POLARISTEL.NET>

Chervil Vinegar:

Pick the chervil just before it blooms for peak flavor.

2 cups fresh chervil washed gently in cool water and patted dry.
1 pint boiling white wine (or cider) vinegar.

Place the chervil in a wide-mouthed, heat-proof jar and crush lightly. Pour in vinegar and cool to room temperature. THEN screw on the lid and let it stand in a cool spot (NOT the frig) for about 10 days, turning the jar upside down once a day (then right side up, the next day . . . you get the idea, anyway). Tast the vinegar after the 10th day--if the taste isn't strong enough, you can let it soak for a full two weeks. If it still tastes weak, strain off the vinegar (see below), fill a fresh jar with more fresh chervil, and repeat the above process.

When the taste is right, strain the vinegar through several thicknesses of cheesecloth into a fresh pint jar. Is good in salad dressings, sauces, potatoe salad, etc.

(Calorie count, for those of us who care, is about 3 calories/tbsp.)

In place of the chervil (for those of us who DIDN'T plant it, this year), you can use tarragon, dill, basil or thyme.

Also, you can use 6 peeled/halved cloves of garlic (which I DID plant) and let it stand for 24 hours (instead of the 10-14 days for the leafy herbs) for garlic vinegar.