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Bouquet Garni

Hearty herbs and aromatic vegetables provide the multilayered flavor of bouquet garni.

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The essential ingredients in the classic European bouquet garni are parsley, bay leaf, and thyme. Every culture on earth has its own flavor-enhancing ingredients, and many new combinations -- Southeast Asia's lemon grass, ginger, and garlic or Mexico's cilantro, chili peppers, and lime -- are becoming part of the American vernacular.

Take a look at these tips for creating a Bouquet Garni:

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Try These Techniques:

The Italian way

Some Italian cooks tie their flavorings between two snuggly fitting pieces of celery, making removal simple and quick. And yes, garlic is a natural addition to the herbs in a bouquet garni.

French twist

The French, conscious of technique, tie their "bouquets" into cheesecloth bundles, making sure nary a leaf escapes into the broth. Rosemary, tarragon, and lavender will give it a French twist.

American flavor

Casual American cooks often toss flavorings right into the pot, sticking cloves into an onion and poking a toothpick through the garlic, so diners avoid unwelcome bites of seasoning.

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