Cooking With Lavender: Herbes de Provence, and Roasted Root Vegetables
Hi! Hope you're enjoying your day. Thanks for stopping in.
I mixed up a big batch of Herbes de Provence yesterday and it smelled so delicious I just had to use it on something for dinner. Just like lavender is my go to scent, Herbes de Provence is my go to seasoning. It adds a little French flair to just about anything, creating an aromatic, sensory experience that transports you right to the sights and scents of Provence, France. (You may have to close your eyes and pretend, okay? Just humor me.)
Herbes de Provence, aka Provencal Herbs, is associated with the Provencal region of France. While there are many different recipes floating around they almost always include rosemary and thyme becuase they are abundant in the area. There is a little leeway with the other herbs, but in general most mixes, mine included, have basil, savory, fennel, marjoram, and lavender, in addition to the rosemary, and thyme. Some sources claim lavender was added at a later date to cater to the tourist industry, but Herbes de Provence would just not be the same without lavender's distinct floral note. (And that's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it!)
The beauty of Herbes de Provence is that it is so very versatile. If you don't like fennel, leave it out. I go back and forth. I like it in the fall and winter, and not in the spring and summer. You can vary the ingredients by adding chopped bay leaves, orange zest, sage, celery seeds, coarse pepper, red pepper flakes...you get the idea. If you add coarse salt, you've now made Salt Provencal. Ooh la la, you are so clever!
Herbes de Provence can be used on, and in, so many dishes. Pizza sauce, roasted and grilled meats, vegetables, soups, stew, salad dressing, fritatas, omelettes, foccacia, pasta, fish, etc. We have several favorites around here. Rubbing a whole chicken inside out with olive oil, and sprinkling liberally, inside and out, with Herbes de Provence, coarse salt, and pepper and roasting at 350 degrees for an hour is one of our favorites. Also pork loin done the same way. And it is especially good in stews. (Around here that is venison stew, but that's another story.) And bread....yummy yummy sprinkled on olive oil for dipping bread!
When I mix this up in small quantity I use 2 tablespoons of each herb, and usually 1/2 tablespoon of fennel because it can be a little strong. You can easily adjust this to taste, and what you have in your spice cabinet.
So, measure and mix: basilic, romarin, thym, sarriette, fenovil, lavande, marjolaine. Yes, it is French. No, I don't speak French, but I do know how to use the online translator... just let it trill off your tongue...just once...you will feel so Pepe Le Pew...the cartoon character...skunk...no? Forget it.
This is what it will look like. And this...
is what I made to go with dinner...Provencal Roasted Root Vegetables. You don't even need a recipe. I cut up carrots, red potatoes, turnips, onion, and coarsely chopped garlic. You can add whatever hearty root veg you want. My sweet sis-in law likes red onions and sweet potatoes in hers. It's whatever you like. And...you can just roast the potatoes by themselves...they're scrumptious!
Cut up vegies, drizzle with olive oil...
...sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence...
....toss to coat...
Bake at 400 degrees about 40-60 minutes, or until the vegies are fork tender and, voila! A great side dish!
(My brother etched this turkey on my container for Turkey Creek Lavender. Isn't that clever?)
My recommendation...mix up a bunch and keep it next to the stove. You'll use it...alot!