ITALIAN COOKING AND RECIPES   Authentic And Traditional  Italian Food Recipes
THYME = TIMO This well-known herb grows in Europe, mainly the Mediterranean, and it is a member of the mint family group. Highly aromatic, it has little, grey-green leaves, and a gently earthy flavour. There are several types, however the most easily available are the popular  garden thyme, and lemon thyme , which has a bit larger leaves and also a flavour that is overlaid with a lemony tang.  Both varieties work nicely with Mediterranean vegetables, eggs, pork, lamb, fish and game. It's quite sturdy, which means that can tolerate prolonged cooking times.  It grows in long, thin sprigs with tiny spear-shaped green leaves. We primarily use these leaves in cooking, though the stems can be used for seasoning a soup or braise if removed before serving Save cash (and packaging) by buying a pot from your garden centre - it is going to live very happily on a sunlit windowsill or plant it inside a herb box. Shop for fresh looking leaves, with flexible  stalks. Stay away from any that are dry, dark brown or mouldy. Rinse, and then either make use of the entire sprig or remove the leaves and get rid of the stalk. To remove the leaves from the stems, hold a stalk at the very top then tightly run the thumb and forefinger of the other hand down the stalk from top to bottom.The leaves will break-off as you go. Fresh cut thyme must be wrapped in moist kitchen paper, put into a perforated bag and kept in the refrigerator. It can last for about 5-6 days. Dry thyme should be placed in an airtight container in a cool, dark place - it will last for 4-6 months. Use in stews, stuffing, marinades, omelettes or scrambled eggs ,soups, stews, meat, vegetables. Thyme is also a good choice for potatoes, rice recipes, and even fresh bread. It pairs very well with other Mediterranean natural herbs such as oregano and marjoram, and is used in Italian, French, and of course, Mediterranean cooking.  Thyme is really a herb we can use with out actually thinking about it, so we often reach for it when making fast weeknight pasta sauces and roast meat.  One teaspoon or so of thyme leaves gives a pungent, woodsy flavor to food. Based on the particular variety you use (and there are more than 100 of them!), we may also get flavours of lemon, mint, caraway, and even orange. Thyme is an aromatic, which means we use it as much for the aroma as for the taste it gives to our meals, and is one of the many herbs used in a classic bouquet garni.
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