Get The Most Out of Your Thyme from Backyard Eats
When It’s Ready
- You may harvest pieces from thyme plants throughout the summer and fall, but don’t cut them back severely in fall.
- For fresh use, harvest midmorning, after the dew has dried. Do not wash.
- Cut with scissors or pruners as needed, or cut back to 2” above ground level.
- Cut no more than one-third of a plant at a time to allow continued regrowth.
- “When plants are beginning to flower, cut off the top half.” [RUEOG]
- Clipping a main stem will induce branching at that point, resulting in a bushier plant.
- Removing an entire branch will reduce bushiness and encourage more upright growth.
Thyme is an aromatic herb that has a strong and distinct flavor, which can be described as earthy, slightly minty, and slightly sweet. It pairs well with a variety of foods and is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Thyme is a popular herb to use when roasting meats, vegetables, and potatoes. Thyme is also a great herb to use in soups, stews, and marinades.
Fresh Storage: Wrap in damp paper towel and place in a ziploc bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for storage up to three weeks.
Long-Term Storage: Dry in the oven at 125F or freeze whole or in ice cubes.
Alternatively, “hang to dry in a shady place or dry on trays in a food dehydrator. Once the leaves are thoroughly dry, strip them from the stems and store in a dark place until ready to use.” [RUEOG]
Visit Spiceography for more detailed information.
Cooking With Thyme
- Thyme Roasted Vegetables: Toss chopped vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and zucchini with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and infused with the aromatic flavors of thyme.
- Lemon Thyme Chicken: Rub chicken pieces with a mixture of minced thyme leaves, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast or grill the chicken until it’s cooked through and enjoy the vibrant and citrusy flavors of thyme.
- Thyme Butter: Mix softened butter with minced thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. This herb-infused butter can be used to add a burst of flavor to grilled steaks, roasted vegetables, or spread on warm bread.
- Thyme Infused Oil: Place fresh thyme sprigs in a bottle of olive oil and let it infuse for a few days. The resulting thyme-infused oil can be drizzled over salads, grilled vegetables, or used as a marinade for meats.
- Herbed Quinoa with Thyme: Cook quinoa according to package instructions and stir in freshly chopped thyme leaves, lemon juice, diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. This light and flavorful quinoa dish is a perfect side or light meal.