Want to enhance the taste of a dish without adding extra calories or salt? Try a bouquet garni!
How to make a bouquet garni
Though this little package of complex flavor has French origins — bay leaves, parsley and thyme are typical components — it can include any number of fresh herbs, dried whole spices, and vegetables.
Ingredients are tied together or enclosed in a piece of cheesecloth and simmered in stocks, soups, stews and sauces.
The classic bouquet garni has blossomed to include other fresh herbs, too — try rosemary, basil, chervil and savory.
Vegetables such as garlic, celery, leeks and carrots can be included. Dried spices like peppercorns, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks also work well. Simply use your kitchen creativity, and concoct your own palate-pleasing combinations.
A bouquet garni also can be used to infuse oils and vinegars. Once the bouquet has released its flavors, it is removed — leaving its ethereal essence behind.
How to make your own bouquet garni: Tie three or more ingredients — fresh herbs, vegetables, whole dried spices — together with thin kitchen twine, or enclose it all in a piece of cheesecloth by tying the ends of the cloth together to form a pouch. Use as your recipe directs.