How To Make a Classic Bouquet Garni

The classic bouquet garni recipe is a quick and easy way to add a new dimension to casseroles, stews, potjiekos, soups, and my personal favourite – oven baked vegetables. And you only need three herbs to make it.

The classic bouquet garni recipe consists of parsley, thyme and bay. Nowadays we also add a twig of rosemary, a stick of celery or a little slice of lemon peel. Fennel leaves will also liven up the taste. But these are all optional additions.

bouquet garni photo

A freshly prepared bouquet garni for flavouring a variety of dishes.

Classic Bouquet Garni Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Tie up the three sprigs of fresh parsley, one of fresh thyme and one fresh bay leaf (and any other herbs) into a small bunch.
  2. Add the bunch to the dish right from the start to give the flavours time to marry.
  3. Remove it just before serving. This is to prevent your diners from discovering your secret to flavouring your cooking pot. Just joking, but that's what the French used to do.
Notes
I prefer to use fresh herbs, but dried herbs are just as successful. Use 1 heaped tablespoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I prefer a level tablespoon lemon thyme) and a single dried bay leaf. Tie up the dried herbs in a small bag sewn of muslin. Or grind the parsley and thyme and add to the dish. Add the bay leaf whole and remove before serving.

Tip: Try adding a bouquet garni next time you make your own stock and taste the difference. That includes store bought stock. Simply infuse the herbs in the prepared stock.

Now that you know how easy it is to make a bouquet garni, give it a bash and impress your guests with your skilful flavouring of the cooking pot.