Inside the Spice Cabinet: Bouquet Garni

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Not intended to be major players or even eaten with the dish, the herbs in a bouquet garni (pronounced, boo-KAY gar-KNEE) perfume your dish with their individual flavors and are a way of adding your own twist to traditional recipes.

What Is Bouquet Garni?

Taste: Herbal
Most Popular Use: Stock, soup, sauces

In classic French cuisine, a bouquet garni is made of fresh thyme sprigs, parsley stems, and dry bay leaf. But in these days of culinary adventure, we like to throw all sorts of things in our bouquet garni.

The tough leaves from lemon grass, nubs of ginger root, and the fronds of fennel can add interesting and unexpected notes of flavor. The flavors of whole dry herbs like juniper berries, peppercorns, and cloves make an excellent addition to braises.

Whatever you decide to use, wrap your herbs and spices in a bit of cheese cloth or tie them into a muslin bag. This way, you won’t have to go hunting around for errant leaves right before serving. Plus, this is a great technique to use in dishes where you don’t necessarily want little leaves floating around in your bowl.

How To Use Bouquet Garni

Bouquet garni is traditionally, and most commonly used to infuse flavor into stock, soup, and sauces.

Recipes for Cooking with Bouquet Garni