Verdurette, a natural alternative to bouillon cubes
Verdurette is a staple ingredient in my cooking classes. Stored in a jar, it’s a salty herb paste that replaces bouillon cubes or salt and seasoning in many recipes.
Verdurette or Vegetable Stock/Broth Base Recipe
- 1 part finely chopped onion or shallots
- 1 part finely chopped root vegetable: carrots, celery root (celeriac), parsnips, etc (but not potatoes)
- 1 part finely chopped greens: kale, spinach, nettles, cress, etc.
- 1 part finely chopped fresh herbs: parsley, thyme, oregano, etc.*
- 1 part kosher or sea salt (non iodized, not table salt)
For every 4 parts veggies/herbs, add 1 part sea salt (iodized salt discolors the verdurette). Stir until well combined.
Pack into a clean glass jar, cover, and store in the refrigerator.
*Use strong flavors sparingly, such as garlic, cress, sage, tarragon, cilantro (coriander) and rosemary. Aromatic herbs such as thyme, marjoram, parsley and chives can be used freely.
Uses for Verdurette
To use verdurette, replace the salt in any ‘savory’ recipe with a small spoon of verdurette.
Add 1 – 2 teaspoons verdurette to a quart of water for a simple vegetable broth. Add to sauces instead of plain salt. Make a simple but delicious herbed-yogurt dip by adding a teaspoon of verdurette to yogurt. Use verdurette to season your vinaigrette, omelettes, casseroles, and soups.
Verdurette Tips & Comments
- Always err on the conservative side when seasoning with verdurette. Start with a little, taste and add more if desired. It’s easier to add more salt than remove it from your dish!
- In the original French recipe, the ‘parts’ are by weight (100g each), but American versions have converted it to volume measurements (1/2 cup each) with fine results. From my experience, the ‘cups’ version leads to a saltier recipe, so I prefer to measure my parts by weight, but it’s fine to use cups, too.
- If using cups (and not weight measurements), make sure the vegetables are very finely chopped (minced) before measuring, especially the greens. A food processor comes in handy for this. (Purests chop it all by hand, but I don’t, even though hand chopping is more ‘eco-friendly’.)
- Celery (both celery root & celery branches) are one of my favorite flavors to use in my verdurette. Celery (or lovage – a perrenial garden herb related to celery) is one of the main flavors in traditional bouillon cubes, so it provides that “comfort food” flavor.
- This recipe keeps in the fridge indefinitely, at least 6 months to a year. I’ve read a comment from a French woman who claims that when her jar is low, she just makes more, but hasn’t completely emptied her jar for 20 years! That’s old-fashioned, authentic salt preservation.
- Although it is recommended to store this mixture in your refrigerator, I’ve left mine at room temperature for weeks with no problems. The high percentage of salt works as a natural preservative.
- Advanced: You can adjust the recipe by mixing the categories (using more onion, for example), as long as you stick to the ratio 1 part salt and 4 parts ‘other’ (finely chopped veggies and herbs). That’s 20% salt to ensure long-term preservation.
(Recipe in French here. Recette en français ici.)
Recipe adapted from: http://foodpreservation.about.com/od/Salting/r/Vegetable-Soup-Base-Verdurette.htm
Posted by danielleinmons on 20 January 2015 in Recipes