Bouquet Garni

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


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:

Try These Techniques:

+ enlarge image 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.

+ enlarge image 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.

+ enlarge image 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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