The days leading up to Thanksgiving can be a bit stressful for any cooking-centric young couple; most are either hosting a party at home or heading to a family dinner and worrying about what fabulous dish they should take with them. We at eatlovecook usually rely on one small purple can of a simple herb mixture to get us through this holiday, choosing to make simple choices with what we cook and leaving ourselves plenty of time to mingle with family, play or watch some football and most importantly – eat till we can’t eat no mo’!
What is this magical mixture, you ask? Why, Herbs de Provence, ofcourse! Herbes de Provence, as it should correctly be called, is a mixture of dried herbs – the original combination, marketing would have you believe, was derived from the herbs individually used by Provencal grandmothers for centuries in their warm, rustic comfort foods.
Whether the legend holds true or not, the mixture is wonderful to use around the holidays – it provides plenty of flavor when used as a rub for the turkey I roast every year, adds a wonderful depth to simple mashed potatoes, kicks up a batch of oven-roasted vegetables into a Thanksgiving-worthy side-dish, and when added to the base of any soup can transport you to the south of France. Keep this in your pantry and you can quite easily pull off a sophisticated dish (or three) on Turkey day – and have relatives asking you to share your flavor secrets all evening long! And we all know that anything french sounding can only make you look sauve and sophisticated, right?
The mix usually differs based on the brand you buy, but more often than not contains the following: fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender flowers and other herbs – lavender being the key ingredient that really identifies as authentic Herbes de Provence. This mix is becoming more available in regular grocery stores, but when I first sought it out a couple of years ago I found it only in a gourmet food store. It may be a bit pricey compared to your normal Mccormick herb bottles but believe me – a pinch goes a long way and one can will last you atleast an year. (You DO throw out all your dried herbs after an year, don’t you? Do it, do it now and don’t look back.)
WAYS TO USE:
- Mix with softened butter and use to rub turkey before roasting. (Recipe to follow in a couple of days)
- Sprinkle on your choice of vegetables to roast, tossing them in some olive oil and throwing them in the oven
- Add to potatoes before mashing
- Add to soups or stews instead of fresh or other dried herbs
- Sprinkle into your pasta sauce for a truly provencal meal
ELC VERDICT: LOVE it!