Monday, March 15, 2010

Herbes de Provence

Heavy spring rains have led to a burst of growth in our neglected So Cal yard. Our lavender is slowly taking over the sidewalk! I decided I needed to enjoy this beautiful flower, especially since it has looked near death most of its first 3 years of life. My 8-year-old and I have clipped a bunch of stems. She is drying buds for sachets, and I dried a few buds with some other herbs for a batch of herbes de Provence.

With a quick web search and glance at a few cookbooks, I found a huge variation in the specific herbs used for this classic mixture. Some contained just six herbs and other recipes had over 15! My version? I simply used what I already had.

Here I've combined:

  • lavender and rosemary from the garden
  • thyme from the fridge
  • bay leaves from the farmers market
  • oregano, tarragon, and fennel seed from the cupboard

I really don't care for dried tarragon, but over the past few years I've had no luck with 1) finding starter plants at the nursery or 2) growing it from seed. Leave me a comment if you have a good source. (BTW, you can spot my empty garden boxes out the window! Hope to show those filled with veggies and herbs in a few months.)

You can see how much the volume decreases when the herbs are dried, stemmed and crumbled in this step 2 baby food jar.) If this particular mixture turns out to be tasty, I'll plan on a bigger batch before the lavender blooms fade. I'm thinking of rubbing a pork tenderloin with it.

I would also like to try the Lavender Honey Ice Cream from  A Platter of Figs by David Tanis. Any other suggestions for lavender?

1 comment:

rebekka said...

Wonderful! I love Herbs de Provence. I haven't yet dried my own mix, but I'd love to do it this Spring!