Thursday, January 6, 2011

a fresh bouquet

have you ever made a bouquet garni? ever since i heard about them, i've been charmed by the idea - it's so sweet and fresh and cozy, a tied together or wrapped collection of fresh herbs used to season soups and stews, and its neat little packaging makes it easy to remove it when the cooking is done.

traditionally, bouquet garnis include parsley, thyme and bay leaves, but can include absolutely anything you'd like, and if you go the cheesecloth route, can even include hard-to-tie items like cloves, garlic and dried herbs.

i love the idea of going to the farmers market or produce store and seeing what looks and smells delicious, and finding a recipe (in your head, even maybe!) for flavors that would meld well. finding perfect pairings can be a real exploration, and to aid in the exploration, i love the concept of the flavor bible, discussed here.

i also love the idea of giving a bouquet garni as a gift when you're a guest at someone's home for a weekend or an evening...perhaps with a pair of footed soup bowls or these sweet soup & sandwich plates.

images from here, here, here, here, here and here

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