Herbs de Provence Recipe – Make Your Own (with video)

Herbs de Provence recipe blend is so easy to make, especially if you grow your own or support your local farmers markets. Don’t buy aged herbs!

Make Your Own Herbs De Provence - An Easy Recipe Of Garden Grown Herbs
Make Your Own Herbs De Provence – An Easy Recipe Of Garden Grown Herbs

It Doesn’t Get More Mediterranean Than Herbs De Provence

Do you grown your own herbs? Like so many Americans, I grew up buying my herbs and spices at the local grocery store. 

Then I ‘grew up’ and thought long and hard about my spice cupboard, wondering how old the herbs were before they were being marketed as a ‘great seasoning’. 

Wondered if the herbs were ever washed before dried and ground, or were there dried bugs ground up in there too. Yuk!

Having grown up in a Mediterranean influenced home I decided it was time to grow my own herbs, just the way they do in the south of France, why not!

Now I have herbs growing outdoors and indoors, in windowsill pots. This small adjustment in my life has become a great addition to my recipes and I am happy to show you how easy it is to make your own dried herb blend. 

Dried Herbs vs Fresh Herbs – Make Your Own

About 7 years ago, my first attempt at lavender fields on my property turned out to be a success.

I didn’t have to wait a long time for them to harvest a magnificent crop the first year, which inspired many new recipes I’ve created. 

Lavender Garden Butter Cookies
Lavender Garden Butter Cookies
Lavender Muffins And Lavender Popsicles
Lavender Muffins And Lavender Popsicles

At first I used the lavender in sweet dishes but once I discovered the addition of lavender to the classic Provence mixture, I’ve begun swapping out other savory herb blends I make, such as Za’atar, for this Provence herb recipe.

Make Your Own Za'atar Blend
Make Your Own Za’atar Blend

What I discovered about the difference between dried herbs and fresh, is that once the moisture dried from herbs and flowers, the flavor and scent became more intense. 

This is a great way to preserve the fresh herbs of summer to use in winter cooking. 

Fresh Herbs Dried And Ground Into The Best Herbs De Provence Recipe
Fresh Herbs Dried And Ground Into The Best Herbs De Provence Recipe

Lavender Flowers In Herbs de Provence

Every culture has its own spice blends used in their recipes. Herbs such as oregano, marjoram, mint and rose petals were often the herb mixture used in my mother’s cooking. 

Mediterranean recipes often use this same aromatic blend of spices, however, as Julia Child came into our homes in the 80’s bringing her passion for French cooking and a variety of French cuisines into our American homes, the blend of herbs for herbs de Provence changed, simply because we Americans associate lavender fields with the Provence of France.  

Thanks to our beloved Julia, the original and basic recipe changed!

Make Your Own Traditional Provence Blend

The dried herb blend, traditionally used in the southeastern region of France, has been the herbs that grow best there, such as marjoram, fennel, bay leaves, chervil, savory, basil, oregano, tarragon and of course rosemary. 

There is no set mixture, as all of these herbs bring their own special flavor and aroma to the recipes this blend will be used in. 

Using more of your favorites, and less of those you don’t prefer is all the more reason to make your own. 

The addition of dried lavender in this spice mix is actually more of an American creation than it is French, so add it, or leave it out as you prefer. 

Nothing More Therapeutic Than To Grow Your Own Herbs
Nothing More Therapeutic Than To Grow Your Own Herbs

Drying Your Own Herbs For Herbs de Provence Recipe

Once you have gathered the home grown herbs you will be using in your herb recipe, washed them well, there are three ways I have had great success in drying my herbs. 

  • Having purchased a very affordable Food Dehydrator, perfect for drying herbs, fruit, even flower petals, this makes the job easy and is done within a day.
  • A warm area with sunlight, like a garage or other area not air conditioned, works perfectly by simply laying herbs on a table top for about a week to dry naturally. 
  • The fastest way is to set the herbs on in a single layer on cookie sheets in a 170 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turn the oven off and allow them to remain in the oven a few more hours. 

It is important to remove all of the moisture from herbs, when drying, before storing them in an airtight container or in jars in a dark place so they do not form mold, which results if any moisture remains on the leaves. 

Herbs That Go Into Herbs de Provence Simple Spice Mix

While the herb blend of Italian seasoning is similar to an herb blend of southern France, the primary difference I’ve found is the use of sage in the Italian blend. 

The fragrant blend of herbs used in Mediterranean cooking is similar in different recipes, including recipes of Middle Eastern cooking, however the mix will always depend on the one doing the mixing or growing. 

For instance, I myself don’t prefer to add a bay leaf in my Provence herb mix, mostly because bay leaves are not digestible and work best to impart flavor whole while cooking and then remove them before serving. 

The herbs I use most often in my own blend of Provence spice mix are those I am able to grow (or obtain locally), and dry myself. 

In this way I know they are picked fresh, washed, properly dried and will produce the most aromatic flavors since they are as close to fresh as possible. 

How To Use Provence Spice Blend 

The best way I know to enjoy Mediterranean recipes is when they are served tapas style, small plates with lots of samples of great food. 

Of course there is always going to be great loaves of homemade bread, and what better way to enjoy that bread than with a drizzle of great olive oil over slices of goat cheese and a sprinkle of your homemade herbs de provence on top!

A few great salad dressings can be made with your own batch of herbs, inclusion of lavender or not. 

  • Mediterranean Lemon Salad Dressing – with its bright lemony, olive oil and fresh herb flavor, is fast and easy to make.
  • Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing – with fresh sweet strawberries, a little tart from white vinegar, the fruity flavor of olive oil and a little bit of red chili flakes.
  • Mediterranean Tahini Salad Dressing – with sesame seed paste, known as Tahini, lemons, garlic and good olive oil makes the best dressing and sauce.
Homemade Salad Dressings
Homemade Salad Dressings

For example, if you wanted to serve a savory fruit salad with strawberries or watermelon in addition to leafy greens, goat cheese and a sprinkle of nuts or bacon on top, you might prefer the added floral notes dried lavender bring to your dressing. 

When roasting meats, roasted lamb for example, rub the meat with this spice blend, plenty of coarse salt and a drizzle of olive oil before slow roasting. 

Of course the aromatic addition of this classic herb blend is delicious in soups and stews, but you might enjoy this mix in your Tajines as well. 

Equipment Needed

  • Oven or a dehydrator
  • Spice grinder, blender or food processor
  • Airtight container, preferably glass jars
Fresh Herbs Are Easily Dried For The Best Herbs De Provence
Fresh Herbs Are Easily Dried For The Best Herbs De Provence

Ingredients Needed

  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Fennel fronds and flowers
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Basil – optional
  • Salt – optional
Dirt To Dish Cookbook – Seasonal Cooking All Year
Herbs de Provence Recipe - Make Your Own

Herbs de Provence Recipe

A blend of Mediterranean herbs, freshly dried and blended for months of great recipes.
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Course: Spices
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Herbs de Provence
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 ounces

Equipment

  • oven or dehydrator
  • 6 oz glass jar with lid
  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Rosemary dried
  • 2 tbsp Marjoram dried
  • 1 tbsp Oregano dried
  • 1 tbsp Mint dried
  • 1 tbsp Fennel fronds and flowers dried
  • 2 tbsp Tarragon dried
  • 1 tbsp Thyme dried
  • 1 tsp Lavender dried
  • 2 tsp Salt optional

Instructions

  • Once the herbs have been properly dried, place in a food processor or blender and give a quick pulse just to crush the herbs into small flakes, but not long enough to turn them into a powder. Just a few pulses. 
  • Transfer the mixture to an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a lid, and store in a cool, dry place away from light and heat. 

Video

Notes

Will last about six months. 
Make Your Own Dried Herbs For Blending
Make Your Own Dried Herbs For Blending
Robin
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