Chervil - The Mystery Herb

Mystery Herb  

Valentines Day marks our one year anniversary of moving into our current house. We fell in love with this house as soon as we saw it, a vintage rose garden in front, and a cute back yard with established grape vines and plenty of dirt to grow a modest garden.

At some point last Spring, I noticed growing in between the Parsley and the Cilantro another kind of herb that looked a little like a cross between the two. I seriously thought for a moment that the two herbs cross bred and I invented a new herb! Yes, I can be naive. 

 I scoured the internet, the grocery stores, cook books, I even stumped my Mom who knows EVERYTHING about gardening and herbs, we could not figure out what this stuff was.

To taste, it has a slight licorice or anise flavor, and it does remind me a bit of parsley. I have used it in numerous recipes, I love it sprinkled in with a salad, I added it to my Cheesy Herbed Popovers, and it’s great with roasted potatoes.

Finally, today I was browsing my favorite blogs in my Reader, and there it was, “Do you Buy Chervil?” on Yum Sugar. I knew instantly that it was my mystery herb! Apparently Chervil is commonly used in French cuisine, and it is also sometimes called “cicily”. 

Now that I know what it is, I can't wait to learn more and find new ways to use it. If you have used chervil, please tell me how you use it and send me your favorite recipes!


  1. You could try using Chervil to make a pesto in place of Basil, or even replace half the Basil with Chervil. Also, I bet it would be great over mussels and pasta.

  2. I've seen sweet cicily being used in cakes in the U.K. If I want to cook with the herb, i would have to grow it as its not easily available in the grocers.

  3. I've seen a lot of recipes that call for chervil but I've never found it in a store. It's great that you actually have some growing in your garden.

  4. I have no idea! This is one of those herbs where I usually skip over it because I don't know! I'll be curious to see what you come up with!

  5. So fun to see you are located in San Diego as I've been on a quest to identify the plant in our back yard in the house we just moved into, North Park area. I think your chervil wins the prize! Your photos match mine exactly. Thanks for posting this!! You never know who will come along years later and benefit. And yeah, I married a guy who loves to cook and now he's got me spending weekends catering. :)


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