This well-known herb blend from Provence is sold worldwide in little clay crockery pots and is fairly expensive. The five herbs included in this French favorite are fennel, basil, savory, thyme and lavender flowers; some blends also include marjoram or oregano, dill, rosemary or tarragon. I pretty much stick to the five, though sometimes I add marjoram. Use either green or bronze fennel. My favorite basil is Genoa green, but any green bush variety will do. For this mix, I choose summer over winter savory, although both add a pungent herb flavor. Provençal and French thyme are the appropriate choices here, although English and lemon thyme are quite good also. Any of the lavender flowers are edible, but the foliage is not. I have found that hyssop is added to this blend on occasion.
Use this Herbes de Provence Recipe blend sparingly as it is full of flavor; it is especially good with cheeses and eggs, and is used in sauces, with pizza and pasta, fish stews, marinades, and with lamb and poultry. I make this and use it fresh when the herbs are in season for bright flavor, or I combine the dried herbs to make a blend for year-round use. HERBES DE PROVENCE RECIPE MAKES 1/4 CUP
• 1 tablespoon basil leaves
• 1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
• 1 tablespoon savory leaves
• 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
• 1 teaspoon lavender flowers
• 1 teaspoon cracked fennel seed
Susan Belsinger, a longtime contributor to The Herb Companion, co-wrote The Creative Herbal Home (Creative Printing, 2007).
Click here to read the main article, Create Your Own Herbal Blends.