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TIP OF THE DAY: Bouquet Garni

Bouquet garni, an aromatic bundle of herbs (the term is French for “garnished bouquet”), is a seasoning for some of the world’s favorite dishes. It’s called upon to flavor dishes such as Beef Bourguignon, Bouillabaisse and Osso Bucco. It’s a go-to seasoning for sauces, soups and stocks.

Bouquet garni is classically tied with string and enclosed in cheesecloth, for easy removal at the end of the cooking process. The herbs can also be added into a sachet (the type that are also used to fill-your-own tea bags); and you can use a tea ball.

But what if you have no cheesecloth? No sachet? No tea ball?

Use a couple of coffee filters (or just one if the herbs fit). Insert the herbs, tie it closed and add it to the pot.

A bouquet garni is made of particular herbs that accent a recipe. There is no one herb mix: three or four choices are made among a group that typically includes bay leaf, chervil, parsley, sage, savory, rosemary, thyme and tarragon.*

*Did you realize that Simon & Garfunkel were singing about bouquet garni? Here’s the background of the song, Scarborough Fair.

As you cook, enjoy Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, or at least the MP3 of “Scarborough Fair.”

A bouquet garni of bay leaf, sage and thyme.
Photo © David Monniaux, courtesy Wikimedia.

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