If there’s one herb that carries a string of nicknames, it’s thyme. Common thyme (also called English, summer, winter, French or garden thyme) is a Mediterranean perennial herb. Seeds germinate quickly and a well drained soil and sunny or partially sunny location will keep it growing happily. It should be watered moderately and develops volatile oils when kept on the dry side. Bees love thyme!
Ancient Greek used thyme in their baths and burned it as incense in their temples. It’s like a medicine chest in a plant, containing thymol, which has both antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. When you smell thyme, you’ll remember the aroma of mouth washes and healing balms.
Thyme has a peppery flavor with a hint of clove. It’s often the secret herb that makes a dish zing! Add thyme at the beginning of cooking and it will release its flavor during the cooking process.
ROASTED HERBED SWEET POTATO SLICES
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-1/2” rounds, about 2 # or so
Extra virgin olive oil to coat (start with 3 tablespoons and add more as necessary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dry
Few sprigs for garnish
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (opt)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Toss potatoes with oil, thyme, garlic, red pepper and salt.
Transfer to rimmed sprayed baking sheet. Roast until tender and starting to brown 40-45 minutes uncovered. Season with more sea salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired. Garnish and serve. Serves 4-6.
Tip from Rita’s kitchen: Slice potatoes about 1/4” thick. They will take about 25 minutes to roast.