The classic bouquet garni recipe is a powerful flavour building tool.
It’s a quick and easy way to add dimension and depth to casseroles, stews, slow-cooker dishes, crock-pots, potjiekos, soups, and my personal favourite – oven baked vegetables.
And you only need three herbs to make the classic recipe… parsley, thyme and bay.
To put a modern twist on the classic bouquet garni recipe add a twig of rosemary, a stick of celery or a little slice of lemon peel. Fennel leaves will also liven up the taste. You don’t need to add all of these. Use what you have on hand.
Tip: Try adding a bouquet garni next time you make your own stock and taste the difference. That includes store bought stock. Simply infuse the herbs in the prepared stock.
Now that you know how easy it is to make a bouquet garni, give it a bash and impress your guests with your skillful flavouring of the cooking pot.
More Modern Bouquet Garni Recipes
Start with the classic bouquet garni recipe for inspiration. Your aim in making any herb blend should be to produce a balanced, complex flavour that makes your diner want to take another bite, not analyse it. In other words – don’t overpower your dish with the bouquet garni.
Then take your culinary adventure one step further. Start by changing proportions, next try to add, delete or substitute herbs. You can also try the same bouquet garni with different dishes.
Or use these proven bouquets garnis as inspiration for your own creations:
- Bay leaf, parsley and thyme wrapped in an outer piece of leek.
- Oregano, bay leaf, garlic, and a strip of orange peel.
- Thyme, savory, marjoram, and a little hyssop.
- Parsley, tarragon, thyme, and a strip of lemon peel.
- Fennel, bay, and lemon thyme.
- Dill, parsley, green onion, and lemon balm.
Game and Venison:
- Lemon balm, marjoram, mint, and celery.
- Rosemary, myrtle, and a strip of orange peel.
- Parsley, juniper berries, thyme, and bay.
- Rosemary, garlic, oregano or marjoram, and thyme.
- Lavender, savory, and myrtle.
- Lemon thyme, mint and parsley.
- Sage, celery, parsley, and thyme.
- Lovage, rosemary, and savory.
- Lemon thyme, tarragon and bay.
- Parsley, bay, tarragon, and bruised lemon grass.
- Lemon thyme, lovage, parsley, and an outer piece of leek.
- Marjoram, rosemary, and savory.
- Oregano, thyme, parsley and sage.
- Celery, savory, tarragon, and parsley.
- Bay, lovage, rosemary, and marjoram.
Classic Bouquet Garni Recipe With A Modern Twist
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 twig rosemary
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 slice lemon peel optional
- 2 fennel leaf fronds optional
- You can tie up the fresh herbs into a small bunch. We prefer to chop them coarsely to release more flavour, and then put them into a muslin bag. You can also use a large tea infuser if you have one.
- Add the bouquet garni to the dish right from the start to give the flavours time to marry.
- Remove the bouquet garni just before serving. This is to prevent your diners from discovering your flavouring secret. Just joking, but that's what the French used to do.
Rate This Recipe
Five stars are the highest and one star is the lowest. Everyone has their own thoughts on what each star represents, but for our purposes they’ll represent the following:
5 Stars = Best Ever!
4 Stars = Loved it!
3 Stars = Liked it
2 Stars = Not Bad
1 Star = Barely edible
Recipes and article by Di-Di Hoffman.