Use fresh herbs to make blends whenever possible—the flavor tends to be superior.
Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison
The blending of herbs is ancient. Since humans first started gathering and using herbs, we’ve been blending them: in cooking, in medicine, in our gardens and in bouquets. The synergy of blended herbs often creates enhanced flavor, superior medicine and intriguing design. Herbs are often combined with spices, seeds, nuts, alliums, capsicums, citrus zest and other flavorful foodstuffs to make wonderfully tasty blends that are stirred into pots and sprinkled on dishes around the world.
Recipes for Herbal Blends:
• Fines Herbes Recipe
• Bonnes Herbes Recipe
• Herbes de Provence Recipe
• Gremolata Recipe
• Persillade Recipe
• Italian Herb Blend Recipe
• Za’atar Recipe
• Cream Cheese with Fresh Herbes de Provence and Garlic Recipe
Use fresh herbs to make blends whenever possible—the flavor tends to be superior. However, when my herbs are in season, I harvest them, dry them and make my blends for later use when fresh herbs are not available.
You can use the dried technique for these blends. All of these herbs and blends can be used fresh from the garden—or they can be dried, then packed in glass jars, labeled and stored away from sunlight.
Or toss up casual fresh herb blends by finely chopping the fresh herbs and throwing them together in a bowl. Use these spontaneous creations immediately, as that is when they taste best, or cover tightly and refrigerate for a day. You can adjust amounts to your taste. To mix this in larger quantities, follow the ratios and store in a labeled jar away from heat and light.
Did You Know? Have you ever wondered to yourself, “What is bouquet garni?” This herbal blend is a classic French bouquet that was defined by the French chef Auguste Escoffier as 8 parts parsley, 1 part bay and 1 part thyme. Learn more about this herbal blend.
Susan Belsinger, a longtime contributor to The Herb Companion, co-wrote The Creative Herbal Home (Creative Printing, 2007).