Guide To Herbs Day 11: Thyme

Racing towards the finish line with our first Food Republic herb guide, where we are pulling together the basic facts about some of our favorite herbs to use: what they are, how to store them, and what to do with them. We kicked things off last week with a prelude, looked at parsley, basil, and rosemary, discussed why dill is more than a pickle, checked out cilantro, discovered what is up with herbes de Provence, mined the multitude of uses for chives, looked at sausage's best friend sage, pondered tarragon, moving on to oregano. Today we give you thyme.

Thyme originated in the Mediterranean region but it is relatively easy to grow anywhere, especially if you have well-drained soils and a lot of sun. The typically small thyme leaves come in a variety of flavors and intensities, including English, French, and the citrusy lemon thyme. While the task of picking thyme for a recipe may seem tedious, the flavorful results are worth it. If short on time, the dried version may be substituted in recipes requiring cooking.

Thyme adds an earthy licorice, pine-like, and sometimes lemony flavor to everything from chicken to an oven roasted tomatoes recipe. An example of how fresh thyme can impact a dish is with a poached tilapia. Take a sprig or two of thyme, add a splash of wine, a splash of chicken broth, a lemon slice, a small onion slice, and a knob of butter to a poached tilapia filet and even a beginner cook can look like an expert.

We only have a few days left in Food Republic's Guide To Herbs (part one). What herbs do you want to see next? Let us know in the comments.

Another day, another herb. Read all about 'em: