Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Garden Lifestyle

For the Best Flavor, Blend Thyme with Fats

Follow these tips to use thyme to its best advantage.

Photo/Illustration: Roger Foley

by Rexford H. Talbert
December 1996
from issue #6

I wash newly harvested thyme stems by swishing them in water and then gently blotting them dry in a dish towel. To strip the leaves off, I pull backwards along the firm lower part of the stem with my fingertips. At the end of the stem, where the tissue is soft and green and easily broken, I use both leaves and stem.

Thyme leaves release their essential oils most readily into fats, so butter and oil are good vehicles for thyme’s flavor. An herb butter made by blending chopped leaves into softened butter is also a good way to preserve the harvest for use during winter. You can make it up and then freeze it in a log shape or in small portions to rub on poultry before roasting, to thicken sauces, or simply to spread on bread and eat. I also like to make a blend of olive oil, oregano-scented thyme, and garlic. This concoction is delicious brushed on pita or bread and then grilled or heated in the oven.

Of course, you don’t have to use fats to enjoy thyme’s flavor. It works very well in a sherry and soy marinade for Grilled Tuna with Thyme. I also like to infuse cider vinegar with caraway thyme. I fill a clean bottle one third full of thyme stems, add a clove of garlic, and then fill with vinegar. After a few weeks in a dark cupboard, the vinegar can be strained and rebottled. I use it on cooked greens and to add flavor to homemade mayonnaise. I’ve stipulated the varieties of thyme I like in these recipes, but really any of the culinary thymes would work. Also, feel free to increase or decrease the amount of thyme to your taste.

View Comments

Comments

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 44%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."

Video

View All

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, become a member today.

Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine.

Start your FREE trial