What is a Bouquet Garni?
It's simply a bundle of aromatic herbs that adds flavor to stews and soups. The term, bouquet garni, is French for "garnished bouquet" a bundle of herbs usually tied together with string; the bouquet is boiled with the other ingredients, but is removed prior to consumption.
Sometimes, the bouquet is not bound with string, and its ingredients are filled into a small sachet, a net, or even a tea strainer instead. Traditionally, the aromatics are bound within leek leaves, though a coffee filter or butcher twine can be used instead of leek leaves.
There is no perfect recipe for bouquet garni, but most recipes include Parsley 'Italian Flatleaf', Thyme Plants and Bay Leaf. Depending on the recipe, the bouquet garni may include Basils, Salad Burnet, Thymes, Chervil, Rosemarys, Savory Winter and Tarragon 'French'. Sometimes, vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or stem), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root, are also included in the bouquet.
Make Your Own!
- Step 1: For a classic bouquet garni, gather together a few fresh herbs. A classic bouquet garni is made with 3 sprigs of Parsley Plant, 1 small sprig of Thyme, and 1 small Bay leaf. For a flavorful twist, lemon and orange zest can also be added.
- Step 2: Use unwaxed kitchen string to tie the bouquet garni, then add the bundle to the pot. This makes it easy to remove after cooking.
- Step 3: To stop the herbs from coming apart in the liquid, you can tie them in a piece of cheesecloth. To add a little spice throw in a few whole black peppercorns, if desired.
It is best to make smaller batches that can be used within a month. Spices lose potency and flavor over time. Light, moisture and heat are the worst enemies of spices, so keep them in a tightly-sealed container in a cool, dark place. Although it may be more convenient, you should not store your spices near your stove or in open racks on the counter.