3 smoked bacon rashers
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 swede (rutabaga), peeled and cut into 3cm (1 1/4in) pieces
1 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh thyme
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
A modest-looking shrub with long thin sprigs of sprouting leaves. The sprigs and leaves can be used fresh, ground or dried. Just a teaspoon adds a pungent earthy flavour – but it’s not too overpowering, so it’s great for layering with other seasoning. Thyme is an aromatic herb, which means it’s used as much for its fragrant scent as its taste.
Where is thyme from?
Part of the mint family, thyme grows in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks loved it for its fragrant aroma and used it as incense.
How do I use thyme?
If it’s fresh thyme, you can use just the leaves, whole sprigs or chop it up. Dried thyme can be used during cooking so the flavour has time to infuse – think pasta sauces, soups and even baking – or sprinkled on top of dishes to give an instant flavour boost. Generally, 1 tsp dried thyme is equal to 1 tbsp. (3 tsp) snipped fresh thyme.
What can I make with thyme?
It’s great for meat marinades and cracking in veggie tray-bakes. Feeling more adventurous? Use it to liven up grilled fish, homemade pizza, creamy risottos or even cocktails. Plus, it pairs amazingly with lemon and goes great with other Mediterranean herbs like oregano, parsley and rosemary.
How long does thyme keep for?
Fresh thyme lasts for up to a couple of weeks in the fridge, while the dried stuff lasts for two to three years when stored in a cool, dark cupboard. Make sure you keep the lid tightly closed when you’re not using it.
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