The short answer? A shortcut. Poultry, pork, fish, stew, potatoes, rice… Fragrant and delicious, it’s one of my secret weapons.
The long answer:
Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs typical of the Provence region of southeast France. Formerly a descriptive term, commercial blends started to be sold under this name in the 1970’s.
It’s become something of a generic term, but typically contains some combination of thyme, fennel, rosemary, summer savory, oregano, bay leaf, tarragon, mint, and marjoram. My current bottle contains lavender as well (a little much for my taste, to be honest) and, in my research, I found that orange zest is also sometimes included!
As much as I love my spices, I so much prefer my kitchen to stay organized that I have become quite the minimalist. Especially by contrast to my Dad – who offers me some type of kitchen appliance that he “just couldn’t pass up” almost every time I see him. (Not a jab – I promise. We do actually use the moka every day.)
Anyway, I’m a big fan of blends (and I love Mrs. Dash), but herbes de Provence is probably at the top of the list of most versatile for me. I could certainly make my own, but I like that I don’t have to have all of the things that go into it separately taking up their own space in my cabinet.
Try adding a bit to baked sweet potato fries, sprinkle over fish before baking, or toss a pinch into your next pot of soup. It also makes a great addition to any dry rub or salad dressing. Add a bit to some olive oil with a pinch of salt and serve alongside sliced french bread for dipping.
P.s. I’ll update with a picture after my grocery trip tomorrow!