Chervil Root and Parsley Root

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Chervil roots

I found some interesting new types of root vegetable that are not very common: chervil root and parsley root. Both are roots of the better-known herbs (especially parsley), cultivated especially for the roots. Parsley roots can easily be mistaken for parnips and are of a similar size but taste like parsley. Chervil roots look like short golden carrots, feel light compared to their size and have a sweet nutty flavor. Chervil roots are quite expensive, but parsley roots are priced similarly to parsnips.

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Parsley roots

Both can be prepared in several ways, including roasting, making puree, or deep-frying.

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In this case I made roasted chervil root and parsley root puree, and served it with neck of lamb.

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I peeled the parsley roots and cut them into 2 cm/1 inch pieces. I briefly sauteed them in butter and seasoned with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

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Then I added some cream, covered the pot and let it simmer over low heat until the parsley root was tender, about an hour.

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Then I mashed the parsley root into a puree with a potato masher. I tasted and adjusted the seasoning with salt and freshly ground white pepper. I also stirred in a bit of butter.

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I peeled the chervil roots and cut them into half rounds.

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I melted the lamb fat that was left from making lamb stock

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…and tossed the chervil root slices with the melted lamb fat. (If you don’t have lamb fat, you could simply use olive oil.) I roasted this for 30 minutes at 225C/450F until nicely golden. Then I seasoned with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Both root vegetables have an interesting taste that you don’t taste so often. Serving them seasoned only with salt and pepper lets the original flavor shine.

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7 thoughts on “Chervil Root and Parsley Root

  1. Parsley root is more expensive here than are parsnips, but not prohibitively so. I’ve never seen nor heard of chervil root, though. You’ve piqued my curiosity now, Stefan, and I’ll look for them the next time I’m in one of our high-end groceries. Thank you!

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  2. Very intriguing, Stefan. I have never eaten the root of either of these leafy herbs. I cannot remember the last time I saw fresh Chervil and I have never seen the root for sale. Of course, I haven’t really looked either. I guess I should. 😉

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