Dried thyme keeps much of the herbaceous flavor and warm, citrus-spice aroma that the herb has when it is fresh. For drying the woody stems are removed and just the leaves are retained.
Thyme holds up well to long cooking times and high temperatures and is good in stews and sauces. It also works well with oven baked dishes: roasted meats, root vegetables, savory tomatoes, or even sweet fruits.
Dried thyme is often used in pre-blended seasonings. It is found in the popular seasoning mix herbes de Provence, which is a blend originating in southeast France and commonly used in French and Mediterranean cooking. Thyme is also found in many Italian seasoning blends where it is joined with basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, and sometimes others, to season roasted chickens or add to tomato sauces.
There are hundreds of varieties of thyme but this common thyme, aka garden thyme, is the one most found sold as seasoning. Lemon thyme is next most popular, but this less intense and more citrusy thyme is harder to find. Many of the other varieties of thyme are used in gardens as ornamentals or as ground cover.
Sharp earthy flavor, with minty notes. Can be slightly peppery.
Pungent and earthy, some hints of mint or citrus.
Small pale green leaves.
Pair with basil, oregano, rosemary, sage.
Depending on the flavor leanings of the dish being prepared you could substitute with Italian seasonings blend or an herbes de Provence blend. Both contain thyme.
Oven roasted meats, and root vegetables, savory baked tomato or sweet fruits.
This herb holds up to heat and prolonged cooking. Add it early to infuse your stews and soups. Sprinkle it on carrots, potatoes, squash and other fall vegetables for oven baking.
When fresh, thyme is an ingredient in the herb bundle called bouquet garni. A bouquet garni is comprised of sprigs of parsley, thyme, and bayleaf tied with twine (or by some other fastening method) and thrown into stocks or broths. This process makes it easy to remove the bundle from the pot when cooking is complete.