Fresh thyme, summer savory, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and lavender thrive in the Mediterranean climate of Provence, a region of southern France. These herbs are the backbone of herbes de Provence, a mélange of dried herbs that may also include bay, sage, and sometimes cracked fennel seed (even though fennel isn’t an herb).
The use of herbes de Provence isn’t limited to the Mediterranean region, however; it’s a kitchen staple throughout France, probably because its flavor is so versatile. It goes smashingly with everything from roasted lamb and potatoes to zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. It’s especially great with chicken, as in the Butterflied Chicken Dijon Grilled on a Bed of Thyme. Herbes de Provence is best added to dishes before or during cooking.
If your market doesn’t carry herbes de Provence in its spice section, you can make your own by mixing:
- 1 Tbs. dried thyme
- 1 Tbs.dried summer savory
- 1 Tbs.dried marjoram
- 1 Tbs.dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp.dried sage
- 1 tsp.cracked fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp.dried lavender (optional)