What is Bouquet Garni?

Bouquet garni is a small bundle of herbs classically used to season French Provençal dishes. Traditionally it will include a sprig each of thyme, parsley, and marjoram plus a couple bay leaves tied together in a bunch that is put into a soup or stew. As it cooks the herbs infuse the dish and the leaves soften and fall off leaving the stems and large leaves to be removed when cooking is complete.  Dried bouquets garni are available in gourmet shops, or make your own from fresh herbs or a combination of fresh and dried herbs. Simply bunch a bay leaf, a few springs of thyme and parsley, then secure end with string or tie up in cheesecloth.

Recipe for Bouquet Garni

For a fresh bouquet, use 3 sprigs of parsley, 1 sprig of marjoram, 1 sprig of thyme leaves and 2 bay leaves. Tightly tie the bundle together using string or wrap securely in cheese cloth and tie. Another variation bundles the herbs in the leaf of a green leek. The composition of a Bouquet Garni may vary, and it may also include, like in Provence, some rosemary or try orange peel, cloves, peppercorns, fennel leaves or celery leaves . The herbs can also be enclosed in a small cheesecloth bag, which is particularly useful for dried ingredients, or you may consider using a tea infuser. The size of a Bouquet Garni will depend on the size of your pot.

David Monniaux / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)