|As lavender is to Provence, thyme is to Greece. The herb is native to the Mediterranean.
There are almost 100 species of thyme, which can range in color from deep green to gray and golden-green (look for golden lemon thyme). It’s a very aromatic herb—so much so that it lures honeybees (in ancient Greece, thyme leaves were rubbed over the hives to encourage a honey production, and thyme planted as a ground cover is still used to attract butterflies that pollinate fruit trees).
We all need more thyme—it’s one of the leading culinary herbs.
Thyme’s flavor is more delicate than sage and it can be used with similar dishes: eggs, fish, meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, salads, sauces, soups and stews. Toss sprigs into the water before you cook rice.
Thyme is part of the classic herb blend known as bouquet garni, along with bay leaf and parsley.* Use more thyme and less salt.
English thyme is one of a half dozen
|Thyme is so minty and citrussy that it can be used in dessert recipes, added to a citrus sorbet or a Mediterranean olive oil cake. And sprigs can be used to garnish desserts. Plant a pot on your windowsill or in your garden.
A cook’s trick: pull the stems through fork tines to easily strip the leaves.
RECIPES WITH THYME
*There is no set herb combination for bouquet garni: bay leaf, parsley and thyme are most common. But the bouquet—which is bound with string, put in an herb ball/tea ball, cheesecloth or a sachet—varies with the recipe. It can also include basil, chervil, rosemary, tarragon and other herbs.
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