Herbs are special ingredients that transform an average dish into an exceptional one. They make the food flavorful, aromatic, tempting and appetizing. Bouquet Garni is the most convenient and easiest way to add a zing to your dish. Bouquet Garni is a bundle or pack of different herbs tied together or wrapped in cheesecloth or muslin. They are tied together so that they can be removed easily when the cooking is complete. Bouquet Garni is immersed and cooked along with other ingredients until the flavors of the herbs are released into the dish.
Bouquet Garni works very well for soup, stew, sauce, stocks or any casserole dish. Traditionally the bouquet would include bay leaf, thyme and parsley. You might also include rosemary, sage, savory, celery, leek, basil or any other herb depending upon the dish you want to flavor. Bouquet Garni with fresh herbs gives your food an extraordinary taste and flavor. But it can also be made using dried ingredients mixed and placed in cheese cloth and tied to form an enclosed bag.
How to make a Bouquet Garni?
It is very simple to make your own bouquet Garni. To make traditional bouquet Garni with fresh herbs you require:
Just bunch the herbs and tie them securely together with a cooking twine. You can also use leek leaf to wrap around the herbs before tying them together. Other possible additions to your Bouquet Garni include chervil, marjoram, summer savory, tarragon, rosemary, leek, celery leaves, celeriac, tarragon, basil, burnet, celery pieces, cloves, peppercorns. You can also add lemon or orange zest to the bundle to enhance the flavor.
Bouquet Garni can also be made from dried herbs. The ingredients you require are:
2 tablespoon parsley
2 teaspoons tarragon
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon of rosemary
Bouquet Garni seasoning
Place the dried herbs at the center of the cheese cloth (cut into small squares) and bring together all the edges and tie it with a string leaving some length. Drop it in the pot as you cook and let it stay until the dish is done. Remove the bouquet once the dish is slightly cool.
The size of a Bouquet Garni will depend upon the quantity you are preparing. So decide on the quantity of the dish before determining the size of the Bouquet Garni.
Each recipe calls for a distinct flavor and hence requires different blend of herbs. So, your Bouquet Garni should include those ingredients that will harmonize with the recipe. Given below are some of the tried and tested combinations.
Bouquet Garni bag
Typically cheese cloth is used to make a bag for Bouquet Garni. The herbs are placed in the center of the cheese cloth and all the edges are brought together and tied with a string to form a bag. But cheese cloth can be substituted with other commonly available materials. Some of them are:
Tips for bouquet garni
Dried herbs have stronger aroma when compared to fresh ones. So remember to use them in small quantities to achieve balanced taste.