Thyme – Thymus vulgaris


There is a motto from The Grass Roots Herb Society Newsletter “When in doubt, use thyme.” Thyme is a perennial in our area, but if we have a hard, cold winter you may loose some. It likes well drained soil with a pH of 6.3 and full sun to partial shade. It has many varieties which range in color and size from 2 inches to 15 inches. It can be used medicinally as an anti-microbial and for sore throats, in herbal baths as a stimulant, preserving food, in landscaping and of course, in our culinary delights. It is one of the herbs used in the French blend, Fines Herbes. Its tiny leaves are used in salads, clam chowder, Bouquet Garni, and French Creole, and Cajun cuisines. Thyme works well with veal, lamb, beef, poultry, fish, poultry stuffing, pâtés, sausages, stews, soups, stocks, bread, shellfish, vegetables, mushrooms, marinades, herbed: butters, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and beans.

I use it in my poultry stuffing, in bread (my Herbs For Bread, that makes great stuffing and croutons), on tomato salad, herbed rice (Herbs For Rice), Lemon Tea Bread, Marinated Feta Cheese as an ingredient of the blend Herbes de Provence, in chicken soup, and on grilled pork chops.


Slice tomatoes and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and a little thyme. Cover generously with freshly chopped chives, basil and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and Opal Basil Vinegar. Let stand for 15-30 minutes. Serve.


1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk or cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350º F. Cream butter, gradually add sugar and beat until light. Add egg, vanilla and milk and blend thoroughly. Blend in lemon zest and thyme. Mix flour, salt and baking powder and sift into butter mixture. Blend well. Arrange by teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet and bake 8 to 12 minutes, until lightly brown.

CHEDDAR – THYME LOG (From Cooking With the Healthful Herbs by Jean Rogers)

1/2 pound finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup ground pecans
2 Tablespoon softened butter
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dried)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 to 4 Tablespoon milk
ground pecans

With food processor, cream together the cheese, pecans, butter, thyme and cayenne. Add enough milk to make a thick paste. Form into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Roll in ground pecans, cover with plastic wrap and chill. Let it come to room temperature before serving.


2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine***
2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

Preheat oven to 375º F. Spray 2 1/2 inch muffin cups with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together milk, egg and oil. Add the cheese, tomatoes and thyme and blend thoroughly. Add dry ingredients stirring just until blended. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. ***If tomatoes are packed in oil, remove from oil, rinse under running water and pat dry before chopping.


2 small fennel bulbs, cut into small strips – julienne
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Place the oil in a large skillet, over high heat. Add the fennel, carrots and onions. Sauté until onion becomes translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and sauté until zucchini is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste.

BEST BEEF MARINADE (Good for 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. of meat)

1/4 cup chopped shallots
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar or herbal vinegar
1 clove garlic
4 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

In a small bowl combine all of the above ingredients. To Use: Pour marinade over beef in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator about 30 minutes for tender cuts or 3 to 24 hours for tougher cuts, turning occasionally. Drain, reserving marinade. Grill beef, brushing occasionally with the marinade up to the last 5 minutes of grilling.


1 leek, white part only
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup tomato juice
2 cups whole tomatoes
1 cup clam juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme or lemon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
zest of one lemon

Carefully clean and chop the white part of leek and saute in butter in a small skillet until soft. Puree or put through a sieve, the two cups of whole tomatoes (a Foley Food Mill works well). Combine all of the ingredients and simmer gently in a saucepan for 10 minutes and serve hot. Serves 4 – 6.


When I worked at the White Bear Yacht Club, Bruno, a Swiss Chef, would make beef stroganoff that tasted just like this.

1 small onion, diced
4 Tablespoons butter
1 can mushroom soup
3 ounce can mushrooms (with liquid)
1/2 pint sour cream
1 cup red wine
dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 1/2 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
8 – 10 duck breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
Brown onion in butter. Add duck and lightly brown. Set aside. Put soup, mushrooms, sour cream, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Add herbs and the duck and onion mixture to the saucepan and simmer 10 minutes, just to heat up the duck. The duck should only be cooked only to medium, not well done. Serve over rice. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


2 whole large chicken breasts (cut in half to make 4 pieces)
4 chicken thighs
2 limes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced fine

Grate about 1 teaspoon peel from limes. Squeeze 2 Tablespoons juice from limes. In a small pan, combine over low heat, the peel, the juice, olive oil, butter, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic. Stir and heat until butter melts. Wipe chicken pieces dry. Put chicken in a broiler pan, without the rack, and brush some of the butter mixture over all sides of chicken. Broil 8 or 9 inches from source of heat 15 to 20 minutes per side, basting frequently with the butter. Finish the broiling with skin side up. It may take less time, or more time, depending on your broiler, thickness of chicken meat, etc. Serve a breast half and a thigh to each person. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Serve this with wild rice or your favorite rice and a fresh green vegetable. Serves 4.


6 cups chicken broth
2 to 3 cups pared pumpkin cut-up into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
5 peppercorns
1/2 cup whipping cream, warmed
1 teaspoon snipped fresh parsley

In a covered saucepan, hear all ingredients except cream and parsley to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the pumpkin with a slotted spoon and reserve in a small bowl. Simmer remaining pumpkin mixture, uncovered, 20 minutes longer; transfer to a large bowl. Purée 2 cups of the pumpkin mixture in blender or food processor; return puréed mixture to the pot. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture. Heat puréed mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Stir warm cream and reserved pumpkin into soup; garnish with parsley. Serve hot in a hollowed-out sugar pumpkin or substitute a Hubbard squash which has been warmed 20 minutes in a 350° F oven.