The leaves of the thyme plant add a distinct flavor to many dishes. Of course, you could use dried thyme, but having a pot of thyme growing on your kitchen workbench would be a bonus.
Thyme is one of the herbs in Herbs de Provence (as in Province in Southern France), together with marjoram, rosemary, savory and maybe lavender, oregano, parsley, sage or bay leaves. And if you read about a "Bouquet garni", for soups or stews, you just know thyme is an important part of that (together with at least parley and bay leaves, but also sage, rosemary or tarragon).
A bouquet garni is basically a bunch of herbs held together by string. This makes it easier to remove the herbs from a soup or stew after they have donated their flavor.
The tiny thyme leaves are the aromatic part of the plant; the stems are rather woody and do not add taste.
Uses of thyme:
- in stews, such as game stews
- in tomato sauces
- to finish off a pizza.