Sweet Cicely, Myrrhis odorata is a plant native to central Europe. It is a tall herbaceous perennial plant, with finely divided, feathery leaves with small white flowers produced in large umbels. The seeds are slender and broad.
Its leaves are used as a herb, with a rather strong taste reminiscent of anise; it is used mainly in Germany andScandinavia. Like its relatives anise, fennel, and caraway, it can also be used to flavor akvavit. Its essential oils are dominated by anethole.
Toss unripe seeds which have a sweet flavor and nutty texture into fruit salads. Chop into ice cream. Toss ripe seeds into cooked dishes such as apple pie or use crushed. The seeds are what are used to flavor chartreuse liqueur.
The leaves of sweet cicely can be chopped fine and stirred into salad dressings and omelettes.They can also be added to cream for a sweeter and less fatty taste. Leaves may also be added to soups and boiled cabbage.
The roots can be chopped and peeled and served raw with salad dressing. Or they may be cooked as a root vegetable and served with butter.