Herbes de Provence is a seasoning blend that features aromatic herbs from southern France and which often show up in that region’s cuisine. The ratio of each herb varies according to the cook’s preference. Because there is no one true recipe, you can feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking. Traditional Herbes de Provence blends typically include oregano, savory, and basil to go with the blend’s most distinctive component: lavender flowers.
Herbes de Provence is notable for the inclusion of lavender flowers, which was not an ingredient in the classic version; the Provence region is famous for its lavender, so the flower was added to make the blend more appealing to tourists. To see what makes this herb blend special, use it in one of the applications below.
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As a rub for proteins
The subtle floral flavor that herbes de Provence gets from lavender is one of the elements that sets it apart from other dried seasoning mixes. Herbes de Provence works well on pork, chicken and gamey meats like lamb. Use it on meats that you plan to roast in the oven or grill over an open flame. Some recipes suggest adding a little herbes de Provence to the coals so that its smoke can contribute to the flavor. Herbes de Provence may be combined with fennel seeds for cooking fish and tarragon for poultry. Remember, herbes de Provence does not contain salt, so you will need to add salt separately.
As a vegetable seasoning
Coat vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle them with herbes de Provence and salt before roasting. The herbs perfectly complement potatoes, eggplant, and squash. Herbes de Provence is a key ingredient in some recipes for the French favorite ratatouille.
In a salad dressing
Add a teaspoon or two of herbes de Provence to a vinaigrette to enhance it. Along with their flavor and sweet fragrance, the pale purple flowers will add a unique visual element to the salad dressing. All of the ingredients in herbes de Provence pair well with a flavorful extra virgin olive oil.
In soups and stews
Because the best-known version outside of France consists of dried herbs, herbes de Provence works particularly well in liquid-heavy dishes that cook for a long time like soups. Add the herb blend early in the cooking time to get the most out of its flavor. Assembling your own herbes de Provence blend with fresh herbs will give you a brighter and more complex flavor profile when you use it in the same dishes. Of course, you will add fresh herbs later in the cooking time than you would dried herbs.
Herbes de Provence can contain both oregano and basil, both of which frequently show up in traditional pizza recipes. You can add herbes de Provence to your pizza sauce or mix it into the dough for the crust. Both options can give your pizza crust a savory, aromatic quality.
As a topping for bread
Sprinkle some herbes de Provence onto loaves of bread or rolls before baking them to give them a herbaceous burst of flavor. Alternatively, you can mix them into the dough.
As a herb blend for cheeses
The French like to flavor soft cheeses with herbs and herbes de Provence can be a convenient tool for doing this. The blend of herbs goes particularly well with camembert, fromage blanc, and chevre.