Herbs Here is Chef Alain Braux’s personal list of French herbs and their principal uses in French cooking. In almost all cases, fresh herbs will give dramatically better results than their dried counterparts. However, some freeze dried herbs can give you really good flavors as well.

Basil – Basilic

Basil is used almost exclusively in its fresh state, although basil preserved in oil does retain its flavor. Used all over Mediterranean
cuisine – tomato goat cheese salad, eggs, pasta, chicken, fish, vinaigrette recipes and of course pesto. While in season, use all the fresh basil you have, make a large batch of pesto with it and freeze in small containers or ice cube trays.

Bay Leaf – Laurier

Sweet bay or bay laurel is the only type used in cooking. Its dried leaves have a sharp and pronounced taste. They are used in stews, poaching liquids, and marinades. Normally one bay leaf is enough to flavor a whole dish and it is always removed before serving.

Bouquet Garni

A bouquet garni is a bunch of assorted French herbs tied together with kitchen twine and added to soups, stews and sauces. The following
classic French dishes, Boeuf Bourguignon, Soupe a l’Oignon, Bouillabaise, Blanquette de Veau, Poule au Pot and Cassoulet are flavored
with a bouquet garni.

What herbs you choose to put together is up to what is available nearby but the classic choice is thyme, bay leaf, and sage.

Depending on the dish, other choices can be parsley, basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns, savory and tarragon. Some cooks like to
add vegetables such as carrot, celery leaves, celeriac, leek, and onion.

The bouquet is not always bound with string. Its ingredients can be placed into a small sachet, a net like a cheesecloth, a coffee filter, a used bas (hose) or even a tea strainer.

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