A bouquet garni is an assortment of aromatic herbs used to season meats, broths and sauces, enhancing the flavour and fragrance of any number of different dishes. It originates in Provence, but different versions are used throughout the Mediterranean basin.
The main ingredients of the traditional bouquet garni are thyme and bay leaves, but there are many different varieties that include several other herbs, like sage, parsley, a clove of garlic, coriander, celery and oregano.
As the name suggests, the ingredients are bundled together with a piece of string to form a bouquet. There is so much to love about the bouquet garni: other than its specific culinary use, it is also adorns the kitchen with its beauty and fragrance.
We made ourselves a Vignamaggio-style bouquet with the plants we use most often and that grow wild on the estate: sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, mint and onion chives.
TIPS ON MAKING A BOUQUET GARNI
Select the freshest herbs.
Be careful of adding too much a particularly strong herb like rosemary. One or two sprigs are enough to add flavour, without dominating the others.
Tie your bouquet garni with an undyed, food grade string.
Leave about twenty centimetres of string to hang over the pan or pot, so that the bouquet is easy to remove when the food is cooked.