Those that know me well would call my efforts to grow herbs successfully, nothing short of tragic. Every season I make my way to the local nursery, hopeful and inspired. “This year…this year.. will be the year that my garden will grow successfully and abundantly”. I am naively hopeful and optimistic. To this day I do not know exactly what I do wrong, but it happens every year that within weeks the demise of my precious garden commences. Its painful to watch, really. It’s impressive how fast I can kill a plant. Save for one…thyme. For some reason this herb has consistently been resilient against my (with all good intentions) murderous green thumb. For this reason, and many others, it has become my favorite herb to cook with.
Thyme is a low growing shrub that is native to the Mediterranean. The aromatic plant is also a member of the mint family. Its history of use dates far back to ancient Greece where it was thought to be a symbol of courage and sacrifice. It has also been revered for its treatment of various ailments. It has been known to lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and boost immunity. In the 18th century it was thought to cure hangovers. Who knew?
In the culinary world, thyme holds great importance. It seems to pull off that delicate balance of being subtly pungent. Its woody and heady but not in an overwhelming way. Its my go to for enhancing many dishes. In a bouquet garni, it adds flavor to broths and stocks. It’s a wonderful marinade for pork or lamb. Ultimately, a pinch of fresh thyme awakens the essence of many recipes.
So the next time your standing over the stove tasting your creation and thinking to yourself “It needs a little something more”. Consider thyme. Thyme is always on your side.