Chervil is related to parsley and in France, is a constituent of fines herbes; this herb is popularly used to season poultry, seafood and young vegetables; chervil is sometimes planted to repel slugs.
This herb is used quite a lot in French cooking, but rather less in this country where we tend to prefer the more pungent flavour of parsley. Chervil in fact has a more subtle, delicate flavour and it is quite easy to grow. Along with a few chives and chopped tarragon, it’s delicious in an omelette. It can be used in sauces too, but (like parsley) it should be added at the last moment if it is to make any sort of impression. Chervil is not good dried.
This recipe is blissfully easy and all of it can be prepared in advance. In fact, I find it works best if you prepare the purée the day before. Dry white wine can be used instead of Champagne.
Serves 4 as a starter
This, if I say it myself, makes a very classy starter. Dry vermouth has a wonderful affinity with fish, but if you don’t have any, white wine will just about do.