Thyme has been long enjoined by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans. The people of the past loved this perennial plant and burned them as incense, used its sprigs in baths and aromatised cheeses and liqueurs. Thyme is one of the most important and well-known herbs of the Mediterranean region.
Its pleasant aromatic odour comes from its main chemical component found abundantly in the leaves (and named apparently after the plant itself) – thymol. If you once smell thyme, you’ll unmistakably recognize it next time. Sharp, earthy, almost minty flavour with floral hints. It’s quite subtle to be blended and harmonised with other flavours yet rather potent to stay out distinctively.
Plus thyme is an unpretentious plant that is easy to grow. Because it has so many culinary advantages, thyme has made it to many cuisines and dishes.
A true workhorse
The versatility of the plant is what cooks love it for. They roast, bake, saute, braise and marinate with thyme, they use it as a part of stuffings and as a part of dry rubs, they add it to savoury dishes and to sweet ones. Thyme is a true workhorse in the kitchen.
To enjoy it as much as possible try it in a regular omelette with fresh thyme and cheddar. Whisk together 2 eggs, 2 tbsp of grated cheese, 1 tsp of chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick pan, add 1 tsp of butter to it and wait until it melts and starts frothing, then pour the egg mixture into a pan. Help yourself with a spatula by breaking the forming egg lumps and constantly swirl the pan around for the first 30 seconds.
This will help you to transfer heat to many proteins and not only the lower layer that usually gets in contact with a pan. After half a minute leave the omelette alone and let it cook through. Then roll it into a plate and dig in immediately.
Dip it dried
That was a recipe for fresh thyme, but what about the dried? One of the best things you can actually make with it is a wonderful, fragrant dipping sauce that’s perfect for fresh or steamed vegetables. All you need to make it is 100 g of butter, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of dried thyme, salt and pepper. Stir everything in a pot, wait until the butter is melted. You want its proteins browned a little, and when that pleasant nutty smell appears the sauce is ready. Pour it all over the veggie dish or use with chic.