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European Herbal Classics

Herbal seasoning blends can enrich the flavor and appeal of any dish, and that's why all the renowned chefs around the world use herbal seasonings in their cuisine. The great Herbes de Provence, bouquet garni and Italian seasoning are at the forefront of the European herbal classics.

The name herbes de Provence suggests that its origins are from Provence, France - a region in the south of France. The people who lived in those quaint little villages knew how to incorporate all the wonderful herbs growing in the French countryside into their daily cooking.

A typical herbes de Provence blend is made up of dried basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram or mint, rosemary, savory, sage, and thyme. Also, there are other herbs that can be added to the blend such as, dill, and marjoram to name a few. The basic herbes de Provence is primarily used to flavor soups, stews, meat, vegetables, olives, potatoes, egg dishes, sauces and cheese and practically anything for that matter.

Bouquet Garni is a term that simply means a collection of herbs that are bundled together and placed in a pot to flavor soup, stew, casseroles, or broth. They are tied together so they can be removed easily at the end of the cooking. It is usually a combination of fresh parsley, fresh or dried thyme, and bay leaf. The idea of creating a tiny, little, bundle of herbs makes cooking a lot easier when you need to remove some of the herbs from the pot rather than hunting for them in your bowl of soup or stew while you are involved in eating.

At Whole Spice we have the perfect blend for your own bouquet garni. We suggest that you use either a small muslin bag or paper tea bag to maximize the free flavors of these wonderful herbs. Add it to stocks for soups, stews and sauces.

Most classic Italian cuisine such as pizza,bruschetta, pasta, risotto, minestrone, and casseroles all typically use a combination of oregano, basil, rosemary referred to as Italian seasoning. This prominent blend of dried herbs can be used to season all meat dishes, marinades, salads and breads.

Another popular way to use Italian seasoning involves mixing the blend with olive oil and Parmesan cheese to spread over bread. It can also be added to boost the flavor of vegetables from potatoes to zucchini and eggplant as well as flavoring vinegar, olive oil and other dips.

For your holiday cooking, herbes de Provence,bouquet garni and Italian seasoning blends will certainly enhance the taste and flavor or your favorite meals.

Here are two recipes we think you will love making especially with left over turkey: Turkey and Beef Meatballs and your very own Croutons.

Enjoy!

Turkey and Beef Meatballs - click link

Croutons - click link

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