Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium L.)

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Family Celery (Umbelliferae) – Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

 General knowledge

Garden Bullweed is an annual herbaceous plant native to south-eastern Europe. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as early as before our era. Since the 16th century, it has been cultivated in many European countries. It is now particularly popular in France, England, and the USA, where it is considered the most valuable herb. 

Botanical description

The herb resembles parsley, but the leaves are thinner, denser, and finer. The stem is erect, branched and 20-60 cm tall. Leaves are twice or thrice pinnate, the lower ones long-stalked, the upper ones legless. Two forms are known: smooth and curled leaves. Inflorescences are compound umbels. The florets are white. Fruit bare, linear, dark brown.

Cultivation and preparation

Garden Bullweed grows well in fertilized and cultivated soil in autumn and prefers dry soil and a sunny position. Propagated by seed. The seeds mature annually. Can be grown in a pot on the windowsill in winter. Gardeners sow it every 14 days so that they always have green leaves.

Dried in the shade. Store in a tightly sealed container. Long storage is not advisable.

Active ingredients

The leaves and flowers contain oil (13%), an aromatic essential oil (0.05%), the most important component of which is anethole. It also contains glycosides, carotene, vitamin C, minerals, etc.

Therapeutic effects

The fresh juice purifies the blood and is particularly valuable for children with enlarged glands and lymph nodes.

The aromatic leaves of the plant are used in folk medicine for diarrhea, kidney disease, bladder inflammation, respiratory disorders, and digestive disorders. The upper part of the plant is used to make tonic drinks. The herb is an excellent source of vitamins.

Uses for spices

The aroma of the herb is fennel, aniseed, and parsley, and the taste is aromatic and sweet, reminiscent of parsley. For this reason, it is used to flavor vegetable salads (especially with cucumbers), mushrooms, nettle, bean soups, and fish soup. The aroma of the plant goes well with boiled potatoes, canned green peas, grilled poultry, and pork. The leaves are tastiest when young and fresh, their aroma disappears when dried. Garden bouillabaisse goes well with other green herbs such as chervil, parsley, and basil. It is important to use the herb raw, as it loses its value when it flowers, is chilled, or boiled. This is why vegetable bouillabaisse is added to dishes before they are served, for example by adding finely chopped herbs to the soup. Old recipes mention a special soup and sauce made from vegetable bouillon. In North America, bouillabaisse is used for grilling poultry, fish, and egg dishes. In spring, raw vegetable bouillabaisse mixed with cottage cheese or soft calamari cheese on buttered black bread is a wonderful treat. Suitable for hard-boiled eggs, omelets, fish sauce, raw butter, potato soup and salads, spinach, poultry, lamb, and fish. Good with green and mixed vegetables, peas, and tomatoes.

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