How to Make a Garni Bouquet With Your Own Hands

Fresh herbs are beautiful, aromatic and cheerful, but they lose their appearance and aroma if left simmer in soup pots or baked with meat stews. This is the whole point of losing their flavor – they eventually lose it over your dish – but the look and texture of moist, heat-withered herbs is unattractive, as is catching stalks and bits from a steam kettle. liquid. Fortunately, there is a very elegant French solution: a garni bouquet (or “decorated bouquet”).

These little bunches of herbs are almost constantly used in French cooking, so much so that you can buy them dried and pre-tied at almost any French grocery store. (I brought some from France as souvenirs a few years ago, and everyone who received one was appropriately enchanted.) But you don’t have to travel to France to enjoy the garni bouquet; Like most French things, the name that sounds to American ears belies a very simple maneuver. Just tie a bunch of greens with kitchen twine. There. You now have a bouquet of garni. (Sometimes people tie dried herbs in a little cheesecloth to make a bag, but I prefer to tie.)

You can use whatever herbs you like, but the combination of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf is considered a classic. Take about five sprigs of fresh parsley, two sprigs of fresh thyme, and one bay leaf, then tie the whole thing up with string and toss into soup, gravy, sauce, or stew. If you’re looking to mix and match a classic lineup, tarragon, chervil, savory, marjoram, or whatever herbs you occasionally grow in your garden are great. You can also add strips of lemon, orange, or lime zest, some fresh ginger, or some vegetables like celery stalk, green onions, or a slice of carrot.

You can also customize your bouquet to better suit your food: for example, my Thanksgiving bouquet garnish contains a mixture of sage, parsley, rosemary and thyme. You can also make a bunch of side dishes for drinks and syrups – just add a bunch of herbs to a pot of water, bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, then add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for at least an hour, then remove the bouquet and use the syrup to season your lemonade, tea, or cocktail. It’s best to start with lavender and rosemary, but don’t sleep on a bay leaf . Bay leaves are lacking in drinks and syrups.

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