Traditional Herbal Combos

Traditional herbal combinations used to prepare meat, fish or vegetables are called Bouquet Garni. They can be dried or frozen together. For soup or stew some people place them in a little cheesecloth sack tied up with a string that has been left long enough to tie to the cooking pot. The sack is dropped in and easily retrieved later. The same sacks can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer as well.

If cooking is your thing you might have run across a term Fines Herbes. It includes chervil, parsley, tarragon, and thyme. Another term, Quatre Epices allows you to select any four from the following group: cloves, mace, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, black or white pepper. We see a lot of these in varying combinations in lots of things from pumpkin pie to chai tea.

Knowing that this is a mere introduction, it would be hard for me to encourage you to grow all those herbs as companion plants and not provide an introduction to use them in cooking. Coming up in the next few weeks with also be primers for Butter, Oil, & Vinegar; Syrups, Sugars, & Jelly; and an introduction to preparing herbal remedies. Having started this blog for the purpose of raising bio diverse gardens including these excursions demonstrates how the very plants that keep your vegetables productive and healthy, and sustain all those beneficial insects, also sustain us. The best reference for these areas of study remains the Complete Book of Herbs by Leslie Bremness. Some of the combinations listed below are found in her book along with many other fabulous things.


2 parts parsley, 1 part thyme, 1 bay leaf (French)

parsley, chives or leeks, thyme, celery (poultry)

bay, parsley, thyme, 2 cloves, a little orange zest (beef)

parsley, lemon thyme, bay, celery (lamb)

parsley, bay, thyme, lemon zest (pork)

parsley, bay, marjoram, lemon zest, sage (veal)

parsley, bay, rosemary, 2 juniper berries, leek (game)

parsley, bay, basil or tarragon or hyssop (tomato)

parsley, chives, summer savory (beans)

parsley, mint, chives (peas)

parsley, bay, oregano, thyme (root crops)

parsley, bay (potatoes)


basil, thyme, parsley

marjoram, lovage, thyme

coriander leaf, chili

chives, dill weed

dill, mint, parsley

oregano, thyme, parsley

tarragon, lovage

sage, thyme, chives

lemon verbena, tarragon

mint, lemon balm, dill

dill, lovage, chives

oregano, basil, thyme

chives, marjoram

oregano, epizote, parsley 

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