Spotlight Spice: Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence is a mixture of bright and summery dried herbs commonly grown in southeastern France’s Provence region. It’s a solid, flavorful Mediterranean blend, and works well in regional recipes and as a creative option in your own dishes. Like many other spice blends from around the world, traditional Herbes de Provence varies in ingredients and proportions from family to family. In general, though, the blend contains savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender.
Commercially, Herbes de Provence hit the store shelves as a pre-packaged blend in the groovy 1970’s – nearly a decade after Julia Child popularized French cuisine in American households through her cookbooks and subsequent television programs. Around this time Provencal lavender was invited to the party – it wasn’t commonly included in earlier household versions of the herb blend.
The herb blend great sprinkled on roasted veggies, added to vegetable soups and stews, and incorporated into sauces – especially tomato-based sauces. It can be added any time in the cooking process but is rarely added after cooking because of the prickly texture of dried thyme and rosemary. If you use a charcoal grill you can even sprinkle a little Herbes de Provence on your coals before grilling to add a sumptuous smoky flavor to your dinner.
The Herbes de Provence Infused Olive oil is a convenient and flavorful olive oil perfect for brushing over fish or chicken prior to grilling, combining with a balsamic or wine vinegar for a tasty vinaigrette, and for dipping bread.
Pick up a jar, a bottle, or both and add a bit of sunny, summery flavor to your cold-weather dishes!