Gathering Thyme

Thyme has quickly become a favorite herb – pair it with mushrooms, lemon and sherry and it is just yummy.

Every spring, when the first potted herbs show up in stores – usually before it is practical to plant them in the ground – I grab half a dozen assorted herbs to put in a pot on the deck outside my kitchen. Thyme is always one of the selection – sometimes more as there are variegated and scented varieties too.

Thyme is easy to go, disease resistant and perennial in zones 2-10; planted in well-drained soil and offered full sun, thyme is an attractive addition to pots or the garden. There are two types – shrubby or creeping. Shrubby is more fragrant and is perfect as an edge plant in a formal herb garden. Creeping thyme spreads easily and can be used to trail over a container’s lip. Brushing against a plant will release its scent. Avoid soggy soil and over-watering to prevent root rot.

Slice 10 oz white button mushrooms. Melt 1 T unsalted butter with 1 T extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a 10″ saute pan. Add mushrooms to pan with 1 clove garlic, minced; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute until softened. Deglaze pan with 1/4 c cooking sherry. Season with zest of half a lemon and leaves of 3-5 sprigs of thyme. Serve with hamburgers or steaks.

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