At the February 2015 General Meeting, Herb Committee member Carol Chambers share some fascinating facts and tips for growing Thyme, and also shared some delicious treats. She is sharing some of her best recipes here! Enjoy!
Thyme-Roasted Marcona Almonds
1 pound roasted, salted Marcona almonds
2 teaspoons good quality olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 350.
Place the almonds, olive oil, thyme and kosher salt on a sheet pan and toss them together. Roast the almonds for 10-15 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes with a metal spatula, until they are lightly browned. Watch them carefully; they go from underbaked to burnt very quickly.
Sprinkle with the fleur de sel, toss and set aside to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Store the cooled nuts in a sealed container at room temperature for a week or two.)
Thyme, Lemon Peel, and Black Pepper Vinegar
3 large sprigs thyme
1 long spiral lemon peel
2 heaping teaspoons black peppercorns
2 cups white wine vinegar
Put the thyme, lemon peel and peppercorns into a sterilized jar. Add the wine vinegar. Cover with sterilized lid.
Store for a month or so before using and remember to give the bottles a shake every day or two to keep the peppercorns moving.
Makes 1 pint.
Fresh Thyme Jelly
2 cups loosely packed, coarsely chopped herbs
1 ½ cups unsweetened apple juice or dry white wine
1 cup water
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 package regular powdered pectin
5 ¼ cups sugar
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine herbs, apple juice (wine), water, and vinegar.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.
Stir well, pressing herbs to extract flavor.
Transfer herb mixture to a dampened jelly bag or a strainer lined with several layers of dampened cheesecloth. Let drip, undisturbed for 30 minutes. Measure 3 ¼ cups juice.
Sterilize 5 half-pint jars and lids.
Transfer herb juice to a clean large, deep stainless steel saucepan . Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.
Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼”headspace. Wipe rim. Cover with lids and close to finger-tight.
Place jars in canner with rack and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and process 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. Remove jars, cool, and store.
Makes 5 half-pints.
Serve with cheese.
Use for a glaze on meat, poultry, or fish.
Pear, Port, and Thyme Conserve
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
¼ cup bottled lemon juice
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
3 pounds Bosc or Anjou pears, cored, and coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
½ cup sliced blanched almonds
¼ cup port wine
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Combine the raisins, brown sugar, orange and lemon juices, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a large pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pears, cover, lower heat, and boil gently for 15 minutes.
Remove the cover and cook for another 15 minutes to thicken. Stir in the almonds, port, and thyme.
Have ready 5 scalded half-pint jars and their lids. (To scald simply dip the jars in boiling water. You don’t need to sterilize them, as you will be processing them for over 10 minutes.) Simmer new lids in a small pan of hot water to soften the rubber flange. Pour the conserve into the jars, leaving ½” to ¾” of headspace; wipe the rims, set on the lids; and screw on the bands fingertip tight.
Place the jars in a big pot with a rack in the bottom and add enough water to cover the jars by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the jars for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, allow the jars to rest in the water for 5 minutes or so, and then remove.
Allow the jars to cool, untouched for 4-6 hours.
Check the seals and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.
Makes 5 half-pints.