Bouquet garni is French for “garnished bouquet” and simply refers to a mix of herbs that almost always include thyme and bay leaf. Other common ingredients are burnet, parsley, rosemary, peppercorn, savory, chervil, basil and tarragon. Traditionally the mixture is either secured at the stems, tossed in and then removed before serving or wrapped up in a cheese cloth or tea ball and dunked in a soup stock to add flavor in the final minutes of cooking.
A classic bouquet garni combination consists of three sprigs of parsley, one sprig of thyme and a single bay leaf.
Fines Herbes is another foodie reference to a simple blend of herbs used in fine cooking…and when you cook with herbs your cooking is always going to be fine! To whip up a blend of your own home-grown fines herbes, simply chop up equal parts of tarragon, parsley, chervil and chives and toss them in “naked” forgoing the “tea ball” or cheesecloth. As with all herbs, add during the last few minutes of cooking for best flavor or better yet, sprinkle over soups, stews, salads and egg dishes as a garnish. Fresh herbs are always wonderful to work with, but dried herbs work too. You can even make your own jars of dried Bouquet garni or Fines Herbes to give as gifts!