Lots of Provençal recipes ask for a good pinch or two of "Herbes de Provence". And Herbes de Provence are one of the most popular souvenirs tourists like to take home. Which makes me kind of sad. Because unless you live in the northern part of Finland or Alaska nothing is easier than producing your very own Herbes de Provence. As far as I am concerned, all you need is a chopping board, a good sharp chef's knife and a handful of thyme and rosemary. Now I do know that the "official" mixture often contains tarragon, sage, fennel, marjoram, oregano and even lavender. But when I look around my garden , the neighboring fields, or when I take a walk in the nearby forest - what grows wild and all over the place? Thyme and rosemary! And do you really think our grandmas went out of their way to search for herbs that didn't grow on their doorstep? I don't think so!
So whenever I need some "Herbes de Provence" I step out of my kitchen door to the "wild" part of the garden, kitchen scissors in hand and cut a branch or two of the wild rosemary and thyme. I strip off the rosemary needles and the tiny little thyme leaves, chop them furiously until powder fine et voilà - deliciously perfumed "Herbes de Provence". And if you have smelled my mixture and then go and smell what is being sold in those pretty little sachets - well I know which mixture I prefer. And if you then also know that most of those herbs originate in Albania, China or North Africa I really don't know what is so "Provençal" about them.....
Herbes de Provence - all you need is
Thym, Rosemary and a good chopping knife