Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Herbes de Provence

My Carrera Marble Italian Mortar and Pestle

I had some Penzey's Herbes de Provence. The smallest possible jar. What they call .4 oz or a fourth of a cup. I will list the ingredients from the Penzey website:

The list is NOT in the order of the amounts of each herb. I cannot find a list of ingredients in the amounts of each ingredient from them.


Fennel Seeds





Dill Weed

Oregano (they call their Turkish, but I call it Greek)




I was down to my last half of a teaspoon when I decided to make some more of my own. Much to my surprise, I learned that rather than an ancient spice blend, Herbes de Provence came into commerce in the 1970s.

I looked at Martha Stewart's recipe and about a dozen or so more. I admit I like Penzey's. I did not want to buy dried savory, and chervil. Penzey's probably sells them but I was making a blend based on teaspoon measurement. If I had to buy those herbs, I would be into the same price range as buying more Penzey's. So I substituted 1/2 measure of sage leaves for the chervil and/or tarragon, dill weed and savory.

The Penzey's jar is a lovely size for making this recipe:

1 tsp. of rosemary, dried, needles? In any case, not powdered

1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

2 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. lavendar

1 tsp. marjoram.

I put the rosemary, fennel and lavender in the mortar first and ground that up a bit so that the seeds and flowers would give up their essence a little. All the other ingredients were then added and the pestle was used to mix them without using much force. I didn't want to heat the herbs, but only crush them slightly.

The above quantities just filled the Penzey's jar and I spent about 69¢ on the lavender at a nearby mom & pop Latin market. The other herbs are staples in my kitchen.

The quantities I used are based on seeing a variety of recipes on the web. This is (and has got to be) an individual taste. Yes, mixing differing quantities is a nuisance, but I guess you could buy all those spices and make up gifts for friends.

To my friend and source of inspiration in all foodways: Julia Child, where ever she may be cooking 


 Bon Appétit