Thyme is a semi-hardy perennial that only grows to about 40 cm tall. There are many varieties of Thyme, but it is most well known for its cooking and medicinal uses.
Thyme has long been a symbol of bravery, and valued for its antiseptic qualities. Dating back to the classical age, the powerful Thymus capitatus which flourishes through out Greece, was commonly harvested by people of the region, It’s tiny leaves were used in baths, strewn in temples and burned as incense to purify the air.
In the 17th century, Nicholas Culpeper, a famous botanist, recommended thyme for coughs, melancholy, even hangovers.
“An infusion of the leaves removes the headache occasioned by inebriation,” Culpeper said.
The two most popular species of Thyme are Garden and Lemon.
Planting and Care.
Thyme is easy to grow from seed. Sow the tiny, round seeds on a moist soil and cover with a fine layer of sifted soil. Water well and keep the soil evenly moist. In one to two weeks, if soil temperatures are near 70F, seedlings should emerge. In the garden, thymes thrive and are most flavorful when given lots of sun – an absolute minimum of four house each day. They also need well-drained soil; sandy loam is ideal.
Thymes belong to the mint family and like their relatives, thyme is rich in volatile oils. The primary oil, thymol, is a powerful antiseptic, beneficial in healing lotions and salves. It is claimed that to relieve respiratory and intestinal ailments. It is also used as a gargle and mouthwash, as a wash for cuts and an appetite stimulant.
Thyme can also serve as a deodorant and it’s astringent, healing qualities benefit skin. In the home it can be used as an air purifier or dry burn it and burn in candles. Thyme is an ingredient in soaps, perfumes as well as potpourri and herb pillows.
Lemon Thyme Butter Hollandaise Recipe.
- To be served over grilled salmon.
- 12 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of red cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Begin by melting the butter in a heavy bottomed 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat.
When the butter is melted, continue to cook it, watching carefully until it turns golden brown. This will happen fairly quickly, about 3-4 minutes, and it goes from golden to burned in the blink of an eye. Remove from heat at once and turn out into a small pitcher.
Cover with plastic wrap to keep hot.
In work bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, lemon thyme, cayenne, and salt. Process until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. This step is very important as the egg yolk mixture must be very fluffy before adding the butter.
With the machine running, add the browned butter in slowly, a steady stream through the feed tube, until it has all been added.
Process an additional 20 seconds with a strong emulsion. The sauce should coat the back of spoon heavily.
Turn out into a bowl and keep warm over simmering water. Whisk well before ready to use and serve over grilled Salmon.