Make your own Herb Seasoning!

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Sure you can find lots of seasoning and herb blends at your local grocery store, but I think it’s much more fun to play ‘mad scientist’ and mix your own blends!

There are scads of seasoning blends available. A few you may be familiar are poultry seasoning and pumpkin pie seasoning. Poultry seasoning is usually made with a blend of herbs while pie seasoning is generally made with spices.  A quick look around your grocery store spice section will show you lots of different blends! You’ll find everything from Italian seasoning to Caribbean blends and of course the famed Herbes de Provence or Provençal herbs!

Herb and Spice Seasoning Blends
Herb and Spice Seasoning Blends

Two recipes for Herbs de Provence

These two recipes are not set in stone!  According to Elizabeth Ortiz the herbs traditionally used are a mix of the herbs found in the Provence countryside during the summer months. She states they are used both fresh by the handful, or used dried in smaller quantities. Since personal tastes vary, the blends will change depending on the maker and the dish they are seasoning.

You can use store bought herbs to make this blend. If you don’t already have them on hand you’ll need to purchase them. If you are using  your own dried home grown herbs, crush or grind them by hand or machine until medium fine but not powdered.

Several old recipes call for just equal parts of Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary Savory (either Summer or Winter Savory is fine) and Thyme. This makes a delicious and simple seasoning. If you want to add more ‘stuff’ to your blend try one of the recipes below:

For a lavender blend you can try mixing these ground herbs*

  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp summer savory
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp lavender buds (optional)

Mix all herbs together and store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.

Again, the blend will vary from person to person and it’s said that lavender is generally not traditionally used – except in American kitchens! I don’t know, never having had the chance to ask any Provencal cooks ;)

If you do use lavender remember too much will make your blend taste like floral soap!

Use the Lavender Buds or Blooms
Use the Lavender Buds or Blooms

Another blend for Herbes de Provence without lavender*

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon summer savory

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon chervil

1 teaspoon lavender

1 teaspoon tarragon

1 teaspoon marjoram

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon mint

2 powdered, ground, or finely chopped bay leaves (bay has sharp edges, so make sure it’s chopped or ground well!)

Mix together all of the ingredients and store in a tightly sealed container.

*You can also add a small amount of dried orange peel and fennel to either of the blends for a nice addition.

These blends are great as a rub on poultry or meats. If you brush or rub the meat with EVOO you can sprinkle and rub in the herb blend.

You can add some seasoning to all sorts of breads (Also REALLY delicious on flat breads with cheese melted over it)

Sprinkle some over fish, season soups, add a dash to pizza or Italian dishes.

When adding to soups or stews, you can make yourself an herb bag!

Just gather up your herbs in a small muslin square, tie it closed with a piece of string and drop it in the soup or stew for the last 30 – 60 minutes of cooking time. Don’t leave the herbs in too long, or they can become bitter and flavors will get muddled or lost from the heat.

Enjoy!

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