A bouquet garni is a bundle of fresh or dried herbs placed into dishes during the cooking process, to enhance the flavour of food.
A classic bouquet garni is made with parsley, thyme, dried bay leaves and marjoram.
Including these four easy care herb ingredients in your food garden will ensure you can have fresh bouquet garni on hand, year-round.
Either Italian or Curly Parsley will complement the other herbs in a bouquet garni. Curly Parsley has tightly curled bright green leaves. Italian Parsley is a taller variety with deeply cut leaves that have a stronger flavour. Parsley requires a full sun or part shade position and prefers a well-drained soil.
Marjoram is a classic ingredient in traditional herb mixes. Combined with the other ingredients in bouquet garni, the pungency of marjoram is a not too dominant. Marjoram is a compact, upright plant growing to 45cm tall. Plant marjoram in a sunny, well drained position.
Either garden thyme or lemon thyme can be used in bouquet garni. Both are valuable additions to many dishes with their pungent flavour. Garden thyme features very small greyish-green leaves growing to 30cm tall. Lemon thyme has slightly larger and greener leaves with a spreading habit, to 15cm high.
How to make a bouquet garni, step by step
- Gather a few fresh parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, 1 dried bay leaf and a sprig of marjoram.
- Tie the herbs together, using unwaxed kitchen twine if you have it. This also makes it easier to remove from your dish after cooking.
- Encase them in a piece of muslin cloth to stop the bouquet coming apart and add a few whole black peppercorns to the parcel to taste.