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Fresh chervil

Fresh chervil.

Photo © Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

Definition: Chervil is a delicate culinary herb used frequently in French cuisine. A member of the parsley family, chervil has a mild flavor with hints of liquorice or anise.

Chervil leaves are delicate and curly, somewhat resembling carrot greens. Because of its delicate flavor, chervil is usually included in recipes, such as salads and soups, where it will not be overpowered by the other flavors. Chervil is a good addition to omelets.

Chervil is commonly used in making a classical Béarnaise sauce.

Chervil substitute: If you don't have chervil and a recipe calls for it, you could substitute fresh parsley or tarragon or a combination of the two.

Pronunciation: SHER-vil

Also see: Quiz: Is it an Herb or a Spice?

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