Thyme Blossoms- براعم الزعتر البري
Very small white edible flowers that blossom from the thyme plant. Thyme is a very popular herb used in a wide variety of savory dishes in both fresh and dried forms. Sprinkle thyme blossoms on a salad, fish, chicken or on soups as a lovely, fragrant and delicious garnish.
small purple and white flowers
Selecting and Buying
Buy plants at an herb nursery for planting in spring. Seeds germinate slowly and erratically, and most thyme varieties don't reproduce consistently from seed.
Choose a site with full sun and well-drained, preferably dry soil with any pH from 6.0 to 8.0. Work plenty of organic matter into the soil to ensure good drainage.
Set plants 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the variety (check the plant label or a comprehensive herb book).
Cut plants back after they flower in summer to promote bushiness.
Protect plants with a winter mulch if the variety is not reliably hardy in your area (ask at the nursery when you buy your plants or consult an herb book).
Divide plants every three or four years to keep them dense and healthy (see "How to Divide Perennials").
Clip foliage and flowers anytime you need them. The more you cut, or even shear back, the more the plants will grow.
Preparation and Use
Strip leaves from the sprigs of fresh thyme to be used in dishes. Some soups and other culinary creations can include a whole sprig of thyme, but usually, you'll want just the leaves, and for many recipes they should be minced if fresh to keep the distribution of flavor more even
Measure out the amount of thyme you will use. For dried or minced thyme, you can use a teaspoon.
Add thyme to your dish toward the end of the cooking process. Thyme loses its flavor relatively quickly when cooked.
Conserving and Storing
Use your scissors or knife and start cutting the larger branches. It is better to harvest from the mature thyme. Shake each branch to remove all the insects or dirt. Check each stem and take out the old leaves or the ones with spots.
Wash each stem using cold water and pat each dry using a paper towel while removing each trace of water. Making sure each stem is dry is important because it will grow molds if it’s not fully dry and will ruin all the leaves.
Hold the bunch upside down and take out the leaves on the upper part of the stems. Tie each stem tightly together. You can also tie them in smaller groups for higher moisture absorption.
Put each group in a dry paper bag and hang them upside down. Gather each bag on it’s base and tie them up again. You can tie a lace around each of them. Add holes by cutting the bag for air. Be sure that the leaves will not touch the bag’s sides. Put the name of the herb and write the date when you hang it up.
Get the bags and strip the leaves that are dry from each stem. Crush them so it will become smaller and you can put them in your jar.
Store the dried herbs in clean containers and in a place that is far from direct light. If you will put them in ziploc bags be sure to seal it tight. A good tip is to put a straw and suck the extra air from it. Remove it by pressing it while closing it little by little until the last end and press it while finally taking the straw out.
Label it with the date so you know how long you can use the herb.