Fresh meats, cheeses, eggs, and vegetables grown locally distinguish traditional French Provençal cuisine. In the Provence region of France, herbs de Provence originated as an all-purpose seasoning. Chefs tie this all together with the herb.
How Do Herbs de Provence Work?
Traditionally, the herbs de Provence include thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savoury, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf.
In addition to their use in French cuisine, herbs de Provence also pair well with Mediterranean dishes.
Provence Herbs: A History
Provence is the origin of this herb blend. Initially, the term herbes Herbes de Provence described a combination of herbs from the Provençal region grown during the summer.
Julia Child, in her famous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, included a recipe for Poulet Sauté aux Herbes de Provence, which grew in popularity as a more defined herb mixture in the 1960s. The combination has been defined and incorporated into the lexicon of chefs all over the world by Child. Herbes de Provence spice mix was packaged and sold overseas by the French brand Ducros in the 1970s.
Making Herbs de Provence
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own herbes de Provence:
- Thyme dried, 1 tablespoon
- Dry basil, 1 tablespoon
- In a spice grinder, crush 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- Tarragon dried, 1 tablespoon
- Dry summer savoury, 1 tablespoon
- Marjoram dried, 1 teaspoon
- Toasted dried oregano, 1 teaspoon
- 1 crushed bay leaf
All of the herbs and spices should be added to a mixing bowl and mixed well. You can use this mixture to season your favourite dishes if it is stored in an airtight container.
Making your own herb blend is easy and allows you to tailor the blend of herbs and spices to your own taste or the specific dish you are cooking. You can purchase pre-made herb blends in grocery stores, but making your own is simple.
Herbes de Provence: How to Cook With Them
Traditional uses for herbs de Provence include roast chicken, roast lamb, grilled fish, and roasted vegetables.
Here are some creative ways to incorporate herbs de Provence into your dishes:
- Fish or meat should be seasoned. Grill, sear, or roast the meat according to your preference after coating it with olive oil, kosher salt, and herbs de Provence.
- Liquids can be made from it. For added Provençal flavour, whisk herbs de Provence into soups, stews, sauces, and salad dressings.
- Put it on the grill and sprinkle it with it. You can infuse your grill’s smoke with flavour by adding a pinch or two of herbes de Provence to the coals when they’re hot.
- Combine simple flavours. You can experiment with different ratios for different dishes by making your own herbes de Provence. Roast chicken with a tarragon-based blend, lamb chops with rosemary, grilled fish with fennel.
Herbes de Provence and Fines Herbes: What’s the Difference?
This variation of herbes de Provence is made from chopped parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil and is used in French haute cuisine. Fine herbs are usually used to season delicate foods, such as fish, eggs, and some chicken recipes, while herbs de Provence serve as a catchall seasoning for a variety of dishes. A fine herbes recipe has a set list of ingredients, unlike herbs de Provence, which can be adapted and altered to taste and personal preference every time.
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