From the Spice Cupboard: Herbes de Provence

If you can't actually make it to Provence this summer, cooking up dishes filled with the flavors of Provence is the next best thing. Even just a sprinkling of herbes de provence is enough to transport you to directly to the French countryside, minus the airfare! How do you use this seasoning in your cooking?Herbes de provence is a seasoning blend featuring many of the herbs that grow most abundantly in southern France and that correspondingly get used in a lot of the cooking from that region. The blends are typically made from dried herbs and are meant to be an easy short-cut for seasoning dishes.

Which herbs get used and their exact ratio depends on the recipe and the cook, but the most basic blends include savory, rosemary, marjoram, and thyme. Lavender buds are also frequently added, and some blends include fennel seeds, sage, tarragon, and even citrus zest.

Either in a marinade or as a dried rub, herbes de provence make a great seasoning for grilled meats, fish, and vegetables. We also frequently use this blend to season oven-roasted chicken. Also try adding a few pinches to a salad vinaigrette or combining the herbs with good olive oil to make a dipping sauce for fresh bread.

Here are a few recipes to make your own herbes de provence blend!

Herbes de Provence from The Herb Gardener - a very basic "starter" blend
Herbes de Provence from Chow.com - with tarragon, orange zest and bay leaf
Herbes de Provence from the Food Network - with oregano, basil, and fennel

What do you cook with herbes de provence?

Related: Edible Souvenirs: Rules for Bringing Food and Drink Back into the US

(Image: Williams-Sonoma)

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