Chervil is a herb that is commonly used in French cuisine. It is very similar in appearance to parsley and tastes somewhat like basil, but much milder. It belongs to the carrot family, and as such, its leaves closely resemble carrot tops. Its leaves are picked from the plant before they lose their distinct flavour and smell, which is reminiscent of anise, after which they are preserved in vinegar.
Chevril is often said to have a warm, soothing flavour that you notice slowly and subtly. It is a key ingredient in the traditional French fine herbs blend composed of parsley, chives and tarragon, which is used for making the popular ravigote sauce. Chevril is also widely used to add flavour in cheese, herb butters as well as egg and potato dishes.
Since Chevril is a spring time herb, it goes extremely well with other foods that grow during this season such as baby green beans, salmon, carrots, new potatoes, young asparagus, trout, etc. Perhaps the downside of using Chevril in dishes is that it loses its flavour easily. For instance, if you cook in high heat or if the herb is too dry, then it loses its flavour and aroma quickly.