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How to use Thyme in Cooking

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If you’re looking to add a little something extra to your cooking, thyme may be the perfect ingredient. This versatile herb can be used in a variety of dishes, from savory main courses to sweet desserts. Here are a few tips on how to use thyme in your cooking.

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Sprigs of thyme on a wooden board.

Using thyme in cooking

Thyme has a long history as a culinary herb, with its use in cooking dating back to ancient Greece. It’s a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to poultry and vegetables.

In this article, we’ll show you how to cook with thyme so you can get the most flavor out of this delicious herb.

What does thyme taste like?

Thyme smells and tastes woody and warm, with a slightly sweet note. Lemon thyme (as you might guess) smells like lemon.

What to cook with thyme (flavor pairings)

Thyme is a versatile herb that can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes. It has a subtle, yet distinct flavor that can enhance the taste of many foods.

Thyme can be used in soups, stews, sauces, and even baked goods. It is also a common ingredient in many herb and spice blends.

What proteins does it go with?

As with many woody herbs, thyme pairs well with most meats. Roasted leg of lamb, roast beef, venison, sausages, meatloaf, steak, and lamb chops, to name but a few.

It also goes well with grilled fish and other seafood.

Vegetables that go with thyme

Thyme goes well with most vegetables, and particularly well with Mediterranean vegetables like tomatoes, onions, eggplant, capsicum, garlic, and olives.

It also compliments woody and winter season type vegetables, such as mushrooms, winter squash, carrots, parsnips, and celery.

Herb pairings

Thyme pairs well with most of the other woody-type herbs, such as rosemary, bay leaves, marjoram, oregano, and savory.

It is an essential ingredient in herbes de Provence, and is usually found in seasonings for Mediterranean cuisines, like Italian seasoning.

How to use fresh thyme

Fresh thyme is a wonderful herb to use for roasting, grilling, braising, or in soups, stews, and stuffings.

If you are cooking with fresh thyme, you will probably be dealing with thyme sprigs.

For most recipes, the leaves will need to be stripped from the stems before cooking. Thyme leaves are too small to require chopping, so once stripped from the stems you can add them to your dish whole.

Alternatively, you can also add whole sprigs to your dish while it is cooking, or add them to a bouquet garni. If you add loose sprigs, remember to retrieve the stems before you serve it.

Generally, it is best to add thyme early in the cooking process so that it has time to infuse its flavor.

However, you can also add fresh thyme leaves or the soft, tender stems of fresh thyme as a garnish to a finished dish.

How to use lemon thyme

Fresh lemon thyme can be added to recipes in the same way that you would with regular thyme, and it will pair well with most of the same foods as regular thyme. However, its lemon flavor is not quite so well suited to the woody type flavors (such as mushrooms).

Remember to use lemon thyme sparingly, because it can make your dish taste a little like dish detergent or furniture polish if too much is used.

Final thoughts

Now that you know how to cook with fresh thyme, experiment with it in different recipes to see what you like best.

Fresh thyme is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, so don’t be afraid to get creative with it.

With a little bit of practice, you’ll be a thyme-cooking pro in no time.

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