Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fresh herbs series: Lemon Thyme

At farmers market: Plenty of herbs to choose for balcony gardens
Lemon thyme, one of the over 100 thyme varieties

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme… and lemon thyme are a few of the herbs that are growing on my balcony this season. I decided to grow my own herbs again for three reasons. Firstly, sometimes when I buy a bunch of herbs I don’t use it all and they wilt and go to waste. Now I can take just as much as necessary. Secondly, it is cheaper and thirdly, the urge of touching a rosemary leaf or a basil leaf or rub a little thyme spring between your fingers and then smell...know that feeling? Besides the colours are equally worth looking at.
I am a bit concerned about how long I can keep them totally healthy because I have seen a couple of small flies on the soil coupled with a slight fear from the past experience that the herbs may get infected by a grey layer of mould or something. But so far so good, the herbs are growing and I am snapping the basil or parsley or today - the lemon thyme.

Lemon Thyme, Zitronenthümian, sidruntüümian, (Lat.Thymus citriodorus)

The lemon thyme not just smells but also tastes a lot like lemon. And because of that it goes well with fish or chicken or other dishes that call for lemon and thyme. I used the lemon thyme to give flavour to poached salmon by placing one swig at the bottom and one swig on top of each portion of salmon with some sea salt and wrapped the salmon individually in the alu foil. Too much thyme will suffocate the taste of the fish, so better not overdo it. The trick is to keep the water just simmering, not to boil and to simmer ca 10-15 minutes to keep the salmon soft. Too much or too long cooking turns the salmon hard and it loses the moist succulence. Drizzle with olive oil and a few drops of lemon or lime juice and serve with some vegetables or fresh salad. (More poached salmon ideas here.)

Poached salmon with a touch of lemon thyme

Thyme and lemon thyme can also be used for herbal infusion tea. Thyme is said to have healing qualities against respiratory sufferings.
I took 3 sprigs per mug of boiling water and let it infuse for ca 10 minutes. Sweeten with some honey if you like sweet drinks, but the lemon thyme has already a strong citrus taste and can be very well enjoyed just simply like that.

Lemon thyme herbal tea