Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme has lovely small green leaves that are ever green, with an earthy aromatic flavour. This herb is great to use with chicken, pork, lamb and beef. It is also fantastic with vegetables, adding its savoury fragrant flavour.
Immunity defence- This herb is great for boosting the immune system as it has high levels of vitamin C and also has a good level of vitamin A.
Lowers blood pressure- Due to the antispasmodic properties in this herb when used as an essential oil especially, it relaxes veins and arteries which then lowers blood pressure and eases stress on the heart.
Healing wounds- With its antiseptic properties (thymol, camphene and carophyliene) which is all found in this herb. It helps to prevent infections in wounds, and can speed up the healing process.
Vitamins- C, A, B6, Riboflavin, Thiamin
Minerals- Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium, Manganese, Zinc
This herb is great to use fresh or dried. Buying fresh is possible online but it does not store for long, normally 5-7 days. Alternatively, if it is bought dried it keeps well and holds good flavour. It usually comes in a handy jar or bottle for the spice rack. This is another herb every kitchen must have!
Because the flavour of thyme is durable it can be cooked early on in dishes. It is fantastic to use with slow cooker recipes and goes well in stews. As mentioned before, it is also a great herb to use with chicken, lamb, pork and beef.Thyme is also used as a delicious seasoning in soups and sauces.
It is also an herb that blends well with some other herbs such as rosemary, tarragon and oregano, and can be found in many French and Italian dishes. It is also a tasty herb to add to vegetables, mash potato and some rice dishes.
For me, I enjoy a simple pork chop, pan fried with thyme and an easy lemony sauce to go with it. I think this goes well with some lovely mash potatoes and some fresh steamed vegetables. Take a look at the recipe below and give it a try. Don't forget to steam your potatoes and then your vegetables whilst cooking the chops.
Serves 2, or 4 if you double the chops
2 pork chops with the bone in
2 x tablespoons flour
1 x tablespoon dried thyme
Zest of 1 lemon
3 x tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a large onion diced
2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
3/4 cup pork stock
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Get a mixing bowl and add the flour, thyme, lemon zest and half the salt and pepper. Mix together. Add the chops one after the other and rub the mixture into them, giving a good coating. Then put them in the refrigerator, covered, for one hour.
Now put a large frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the oil. Once hot add the chops and cook for 5-6 minutes each side until they start to go a nice golden brown in colour.
Take the chops out of the pan and put to one side and leave to rest. Now add the onion and fry until soft in the oil left in the pan, then add the garlic.
Now add the pork stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon juice and the rest of the salt and pepper, then stir. If it's not thick enough add some extra flour and stir it in.
Spoon some sauce over each chop and serve with the mash and vegetables.