Fines herbes (French) designates an important combination of herbs that form a mainstay of French cuisine. The canonic fines herbes of French haute cuisine comprise finely chopped parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil. These are employed in seasoning delicate dishes such as chicken, fish, and eggs, that need a relatively short cooking period and also used in a beurre blanc sauce for seasoning such dishes. Fines herbes are also eaten raw in salads.
Our blend includes parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil.
The classic mixture In 1903, the renowned chef Auguste Escoffier noted that dishes labeled aux fines herbes were sometimes being made with parsley alone. In his Culinary Guide, Escoffier insisted that:
It is a mistake to serve, under the name Omelette aux fines herbes, an omelet in which chopped parsley furnishes the only aromatic note. This error is too widespread for us to hope to overturn it. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that an omelette aux fines herbes must contain: parsley, chives, and a little chervil and tarragon.
Thirty-five years later, under the entry "Fines Herbes", the authoritative Larousse Gastronomique of 1938 conceded that, generally speaking, an Omelette aux fines herbes was still most frequently being seasoned only with chopped parsley, but repeated Escoffier's admonition that it ought to contain a combination of fragrant herbs, "such as, parsley, chervil, tarragon, and also chives." For in former times this was the traditional practice (la pratique ancienne), when "to the aforementioned herbs, chopped mushrooms, and even truffles, would be added."
Julia Child also echoes Escoffier: "A mixture of fresh parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil is called fines herbes," while Alan Davidson, author of The Oxford Companion to Food, identifies chopped fresh parsley as the minimalist basis of the fines herbes mix, with the addition of "any (or all) of: chervil, tarragon, chives," noting that the number of different herbs to be used is far from fixed.