Enjoy this delicate-looking herb with its minty and lightly lemon flavour. The top side of each leaf is green-grey in colour on top, while the underside is somewhat white.
Fresh thyme should have a clean, fresh scent. The leaves should appear energetic green-gray in colour. They should be free from dark spots or yellowing.
Fresh thyme should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel and place in a sealable plastic bag for up to five days.
To Dry Thyme dries better than most herbs. It retains much of its flavour and does not develop the dry, straw-like taste that develops among many herbs when dried. Dried thyme should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, and dry place where it will keep fresh for up to a year.
When cooking with fresh thyme, please remember its stockier stems and strip off the leaves by running your fingers down the stem from top to bottom. They are usually used raw or added towards the end of cooking. However, you can use whole sprigs to permeate a stock or sauce – simply remove them before serving.
To chop, strip leaves from the stems and gather leaves into a tight, dense bunch. Using a sharp knife, cut across the gathered leaves to chop coarsely.
To mince, take coarsely chopped leaves, with a rocking motion persistently move a sharp knife blade back and forth across the leaves until they have been cut to the desired fine dimension.
Remember, a little goes a long way! Best added to slowly cooked dishes, where it is less likely to dominate other seasonings.
Quick & Easy Serving Suggestions
- Poultry (rubbed over bird and placed in its cavity), lamb (rubbed over roast), and seafood
- Vegetables (especially members of the cabbage family, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant)
- Stews, soups, cream sauces, stuffing (as is Sage), as well as bean, egg and vegetable dishes, and even gravy
- With garlic, nothing can substitute for thyme in the classic French beef stew called Boeuf Bouguignon
- Try using the heavy stems as kebab skewers for quick barbecuing or grilling of fish and vegetables.
- Thyme, either in its fresh or dried form, should be added toward the end of the cooking process since heat can easily cause a loss of its delicate lemony flavour.
- When using thyme in a salad, fresh is a better choice than dried.
- Dried thyme should be crushed in the palm of your hand to release its flavour before using.
- In Greek cooking, combine with oregano and/or dill
- Thyme is especially well-matched with marjoram, summer savoury, celery leaves, and parsley
- Combine fresh sprigs of parsley, bay leaves, and thyme to create the French ‘ bouquet garni’ used to season stock, stews, and soups. Either tied together with string or placed in a cheesecloth bag.
It is said to strengthen the immune system. Some parts of thyme that may be medicimal are now known to include carvacolo, borneol, geraniol, but most importantly, thymol (its namesake). In addition, flavonoids and a very good source of manganese make thyme an anti-oxidant food. Both thyme and basil contain elements that can both prevent contamination and purify previously contaminated foods.
Thyme (fresh), 1 tsp (0.80g)
Total Fat: 0.01g
- Thyme has been used since ancient times for its culinary, aromatic, and healing abilities. During ancient times, Egyptians used thyme as an embalming ingredient to preserve their deceased pharaohs. During the same era, Greece was commonly used as an incense burned in sacred temples.
- Ancient civilizations considered thyme to be a symbol of courage and admiration, the phrase “the smell of thyme” was a term used when giving praise. With the same courageous reasoning, during the medieval times women ceremoniously gave their knights a sprig of thyme before battle.
- Beginning in the 16th century, thyme oil has performed antiseptic duties – both as a mouthwash and a topical application.
- There are well over sixty different varieties thyme leaves – some are curled, elliptically shaped and very small, measuring about one-eighth of an inch long and one-sixteenth of an inch wide.
The four most commonly cultivated for culinary use are common thyme, lemon thyme, silver thyme, and caraway thyme.