Now is the thyme to enjoy fresh herbs. I have been enjoying the bounty of my herb garden, which my husband and I planted in a garden box made out of a recycled wooden pallet. It sits just outside our back patio for easy access. Thyme is an herb that we plant every year, as I use it in so many dishes.
Fresh thyme has thin woody stems with small leaves packed with aroma and flavor. There are numerous varieties of thyme, but most have an earthy, floral taste that compliment many soups, stews, meats and vegetable dishes. It’s the main ingredient in the French herb mixture, Bouquet Garni, a bundle of herbs and aromatics tied with twine and simmered in stocks or sauces to impart flavor.
To use thyme, simply pinch the stem with your thumb and forefinger and slide them down the stem, stripping the leaves off. The leaves are so small that it generally requires no chopping. Unlike many delicate herbs, such as basil or cilantro, thyme is strong enough to withstand longer cooking times and generally can be throw in towards the beginning of cooking. If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon dried herbs, substitute about 3 teaspoons fresh since dried herbs are more potent than fresh.
To store fresh thyme, wrap sprigs in a damp paper towel and place in an opened plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Store dried thyme in a tightly closed container away from sunlight and moisture. Dry thyme with a food dehydrator or by tying the sprigs with twine and hanging them upside down indoors. Thyme can also be dried by pinching off the leaves and letting them dry indoors on paper towels or mesh drying racks.
Honey Glazed Salmon (Printable PDF)
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, stripped off stems
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 ¼ lbs. salmon, cut into 4 pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash hands with soap and water. In a small bowl, combine honey, mustard, thyme, lemon zest and pepper. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and place salmon, skin side down. Using a marinating brush, spread the honey mixture to coat the top of each salmon. Bake for 20 minutes or until salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 270 calories, 11 grams fat, 135 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 32 grams protein