Herbs are, undeniably, an essential part of any home kitchen all over the world. They are cheap to acquire, easy to use in most recipes, and pleasing to your senses! Other ingredients themselves will not shine without the help of herbs, as they will not pack that pop of taste and fragrance.
Among the common array of herbs, it is safe to say that your jar of thymes will run out first due to its sheer versatility and contribution in many recipes. If you don’t know how to chop thyme and use it properly in a dish, this is your chance to learn right now!
What Is A Sprig Of Thyme?
Speaking of recipes, you might find that a lot of cooking thyme recipes count the herb in sprigs, so what is a sprig of thyme?
To put it simply, it is the few-inch bits at the end of the stem, meaning the sprig is the most flavorful and aromatic part of the thyme plant. By using the sprig along with its leaves in cooking, you are essentially making use of the very essence of thymes.
If the recipe requires you to use “fresh thyme” instead, you will need to do an extra step of pulling the leaves off its wood stem before sprinkling them into the dish.
Still, right before adding the leaves, you should know how to chop and process the leaves to make sure that all the flavor comes out of them when cooked. Let’s get into how to prepare thyme in the next paragraph!
How To Chop Thyme?
In order to incorporate thymes into a dish, you should know how to remove the leaves, chop and mince them. This will ensure that your dish gets the best result from the thyme treatment.
Continue reading to find the answer to the question, “How do you cut fresh thyme?”!
How To Remove Leaves From Thyme
Picking one thyme at a time from the stem will waste so much of your valuable time. You can instead try pulling the leaves off all at once with a pasta measuring tool by putting the sprigs thyme through the smallest hole and tug quickly, so the leaves fall off.
A fine mesh also works just fine for this task, and the process is the same as well. You only have to pull the stem through a mesh hole, and the bits left on your mesh’s surface will conveniently consist of just leaves. Once you’re done straining the stems, you can dump the leafy content of your mesh onto the chopping board and get to work with your knife!
Now that you have all these tips and tools, you shouldn’t go back to picking each leaf individually. Doing it by hand will risk leaving branches back in the pile of herbs, which you will have to fish out before the dish finishes cooking. Trust us, you will not like the feeling of having a thyme stem stuck between your teeth while you’re eating!
How To Chop Fresh Thyme
First of all, you should prepare a very sharp knife for cutting fresh thyme. Run the blade through your whetstone a few times before getting to work on the herb if you haven’t done so in the last month.
Besides, you would want to aim the tip of the knife so that it’s still in the bound of the board and rock the blade back and forth. Doing so a few times will turn your thyme leaves into flavorful thyme bits, ready to be sprinkled in!
As for the stems, you can break them into pieces a few inches long so that you have more additional spices to work with!
How To Mince Thyme
Try mincing thymes instead of simply chopping if you want the leaves to be even smaller and more flavorful. The motion is similar to chopping thyme, with the knife rocking back and forth on the leaves. However, you will need to repeat this step at least three times so the leaves can reduce to smithereens. With minced thyme, even lettuce will be flavorful!
How To Clean Thyme
In order to get the best quality of thymes for your dish, you will need to know how to clean it properly. Here are the steps to go about the process of making the most out of your grocery pack of thymes:
- Pick and throw out leaves that have wilted, turned yellow, or had holes in them. Straight, long stems and green leaves are the signs of a high-quality thyme sprig.
- Fill a bowl with cold water, and sink the thyme into it. Shake it in the water to rid it of the obvious and loose layer of dirt and soil, then leave it to soak for 5 minutes.
- Once all the dirt has clung to the bottom of the bowl, you can start to fish out the herbs and leave them to dry on a towel. If the herbs are not clean enough, you can repeat the process a few more times.
Recommended Recipes With Chopped Thyme
When you are done with the prepping process, you can start to introduce thymes into different dishes. Lucky for you, the herb is exceptionally popular in Western and Mediterranean recipes, so you will never run out of dishes to make with it!
Thymes can also combine with other herbs to form the iconic French “Bouquet garni” and “Herbes de Province.” The blends are very effective in turning your bland steak into a bomb of satisfying fragrance and making for top-tier cuisine, as well as making shallots and onions taste like heaven.
Another popular spice blend that features thyme is Za’atar from Mediterranean cuisine, for tomato, mushroom, and cheese dishes!
A simple and delicious thyme recipe is egg strata since it pairs so well with eggs and tomatoes. Nevertheless, we will do you two better: Read about a couple of dishes with thymes below for inspiration!
Roasted potatoes with thyme
Thyme is great at marinating other vegetables, so why not try a potato dish for tonight’s dinner? Bake your potatoes in an oven after you season them with garlic powder, and your minced thyme gets sprinkled on top. The recipe is extremely simple to make!
Sauteed carrots with thyme
If you have decided to use thymes, you should not miss out on sauteed carrots, as they combine with each other so well! Another plus to this dish is that it only takes you around fifteen minutes to prepare!
How To Pick Thyme
Look for fresh and dark green leaves with pliable bodies. If the leaves are yellow or have holes in them, throw them to the side, or you will not be able to get the best aroma out of the thyme!
In the end, knowing how to chop thyme will earn your meals an additional burst of exquisite flavors and fragrance, as you deserve! Once you know how to use thyme in your dishes to enhance its features, you will never be able to stop sprinkling a little bit in your food every once in a while!