This hardy herb can withstand long cooking times, making it ideal for roasting and flavoring soups and stews.
Season: May through September.
How to Choose Thyme
Thyme’s small round leaves, which grow in pairs, can be gray green, dark green, or variegated with white edges. They should give off an earthy, slightly lemony fragrance when rubbed; lemon thyme has a more pronounced citrus scent. Look for fresh and bright sprigs; avoid brittle, brown leaves.
How to Store Thyme
To prolong shelf life and preserve flavor, keep stems and leaves intact and unwashed until just before using. Wrap loosely and place them in the warmest part of the refrigerator, such as a compartment in the door, for up to 3 weeks. Do not wrap the herbs tightly or the trapped moisture may cause them to mold prematurely; many people add a crumpled paper towel to the bag as a safeguard. Discard the herb when the leaves turn dark or brittle or the stems begin to show traces of mold.
How to Prepare Thyme
Strip the leaves by grasping the stem at the top and running your thumb and forefinger down the stem. Thyme leaves are small and require no chopping.
How to Use Thyme
Whole sprigs, stem and all, can be added to soups and stews for flavoring; remove just before serving.
Real Simple Thyme Recipes:
- Thyme and Lime Lemonade
- Thyme and Orange Marmalade
- Halibut With Spicy Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
- Strawberry-Thyme Lemonade
- Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks and Thyme
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