Herbes de Provence
(courtesy Mary Harvey)
© Denzil Green
Herbes de Provence is a mixture of herbs that are typical in Provence, a region in the south of France.
The mixture may include any of the following: basil; bay; fennel; hyssop; lavender; marjoram; oregano; rosemary; sage; savoury; thyme. Thyme and savoury are usually among the dominant herbs used. What makes this blend of French herbs different from other French herb blends is that it typically includes herbs that are more typically thought of as being Italian — such as fennel, and oregano.
The mixture is usually sold dried, but it can also be a fresh mixture, when the herbs are available fresh in the summer.
Though people will of course argue about what should go into an authentic Herbes de Provence mix, there is no one authentic mix. People from outside France seem particularly to question the use of lavender as an herb, particularly North Americans, but there you go. Herbes de Provence has come to be seen to many as cliché, to the point where some people even wonder if they are actually used in France, or just flogged to tourists in cloyingly cute bags or containers. In fact, the herb mixture is used in France outside Provence, and perhaps by many people in Provence as well.
Some in France even prefer the mixture dried to fresh versions of the herbs, as then the taste and the aroma of the herbs is “moins agressif.”
Herbes de Provence:
1/2 teaspoon lavender
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon summer savoury
1 teaspoon thyme
Basil can be used in place of the oregano.
4 tablespoons dried = .35oz = 10g