What is a Bouquet Garni?
Actually, bouquet garni is a combination of fresh herbs, vegetables &, at times, even coarsely crumbled spices, which are bundled in layered cheesecloth or they are tied up with a string in such a way to flavor soups, stocks & sauces.
The herbs are tied up in such a way that the chef can remove them easily & quickly before serving, eliminating, for the most part, the need to strain the soup, sauce or stock.
How to Make a Bouquet Garni:
I have an example for you as to what items you might include in a bouquet garni, how to bundle, and tie them up.
Leave an extra 6 inches of string hanging when you immerse the herb bundles, so it will be easy to pull your bouquet garni out of the hot liquid.
Arrange fresh herbs together with spices.
- 2 or more parsley sprigs – add more when using a lot of liquid
- 1 bay leaf – medium sized
- 2 or more thyme sprigs
- 1 leek – using only the white part
- 3 cloves
- Note: Depending on your ultimate recipe, you can include spices like chives, basil, sage, rosemary, summer savory, cardamom, cinnamon stick, coriander, fennel, ginger, chili peppers, peppercorns, juniper berries, or any combination you find to be to your taste, and the recipe you’re creating.
- Tip: If you’re using dill, bind with string to keep the fronds together.
- Bunch your fresh, clean herbs together.
- Place the bunched herbs onto the middle of 2 thicknesses of cheesecloth at least 4 inches square – larger if you are using a very large stock pot with a greater quantity of liquid.
- Gather the 4 corners of cheesecloth, and twist to make a little pouch.
- Tie up the twist with several rounds of clean string, securing all the contents. Tie 2 knots & allow a tail of about 6 inches or longer, if you wish to dangle it secured from the pot handle, which is super handy.
- Tip: The coarsely ground spices can be held together in the cheesecloth pouch, if you place the spices in the shallow, dented line in the middle of a celery rib. Overlap another celery rib on top of the spices, and place the celery on the cheesecloth along with the fresh herbs.
A bouquet garni is a great way to use herbs to flavor food that you don’t want to have to find & fish out separately in a pot of soup or a sauce.
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I hope you enjoy this Herb Recipe on Cooking with Kimberly. Until next time…
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