Tuesday, May 21, 2013




This traditional blend of the sweet aromatic herbs that flourish in the hills of southern France during the summer and are gathered from the mountain-sides brings the authentic flavors to many dishes. Herbes de Provence or Provencal herbs as a dry mixture was invented in the 1970’s by spice wholesalers, including notably Ducros in France. The mixture is often sold in traditional terracotta jars which make a charming gift as well as an effective storage container.

Herbes de Provence combines several French herbs with Italian herbs and fennel, demonstrating the historical influence of the Romans. The flowery lavender that is so much associated with the southern region of France is actually optional, but a nice addition to the blend and reminder of the fields which are emblematic of the Provence region. Orange zest is sometimes included as well and combines well with the robust flavors of the herbs. The proportions as well as the use of different herbs vary by manufacturer, but in general they typically include rosemary, savory, basil and thyme with thyme being the dominant taste produced by the mixture.

This is a favorite classic combination you can use if you want to try blending your own signature mixture:

4Tbs thyme
2Tbs marjoram
1Tbs basil
1Tbs rosemary
1Tbs savory
2tsp lavender flowers
1tsp fennel seeds

Herbes de Provence is a good addition to any dish from the Mediterranean region, but is especially good mixed with olive oil to coat chicken, tomatoes and chunks of potatoes for roasting. It is also great to season salads, sauces and cheeses as well as soups and stews. You can even add a pinch of this herb mixture to the coals when hot before grilling!

Herbes de Provence can be added
before or during cooking
or may be mixed with the cooking oil
to allow for the infusion of flavor into the food

1(8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 can salmon, drained
1Tbs Herbes de Provence
          Combine all ingredients and chill at least 3 hours. Serve on crackers.

3Tbs butter
3Tbs flour
1Tbs Herbes de Provence
2c milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4c shredded cheese
1c chopped vegetables:
broccoli, mushrooms, onion, spinach, zucchini, carrots, etc
1 baked pie shell
          Melt butter, then whisk in flour and herb blend. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Slowly add beaten egg, stirring constantly. Sprinkle vegetables and 1c cheese into pie shell, then pour in egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 30-35 mins.

1 1/4c warm water
1 tsp dry yeast
1Tbs sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1Tbs Herbes de Provence
3 1/2c flour
1 egg white; lightly beaten
          Combine the water, yeast, sugar, salt and herbs together until dissolved, then add the flour. Knead 10 minutes then let rise, covered, until doubled in bulk. Punch down; knead three or four times to remove air, then divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a long loaf on a greased baking sheet and slash the top. Brush the loaves with the egg white and let rise until doubled. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 mins. longer or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on racks.



"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
 do it all for the glory of God
I Corinthians 10:31

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