Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Herb Lady w/Basil and Lavender Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Spanish Thyme Posted by Hello

Spanish Thyme (plectranthus amboinicus)

Spanish Thyme is one of my favorite 'exotic' herbs. A relative of the much-loved Creeping Charlie, this beautiful and fragrant herb is known by many names:
Mexican mint, Indian borage, Spanish thyme, French thyme, soup mint, Indian mint, country borage, Jamaica thyme, broadleaf thyme aka syn Coleus amboinicus.

A tender-perennial it is one of the few herbs that will tolerate some shade (most herbs require 4-6 hours of direct sun to maintain health and essential oils so necessary for the flavor and perfume we expect of herbs).

A slightly-fuzzy, succulent leaf with a scent that is a cross between oregano, thyme and savory probably originated in India native, and is a member of the wide herb family Labiatae (the mint family).

The one I prefer to grow is a variegated one with lovely markings and the more sun it gets the pinker the edges become.

Cooking: I like to use this herb in mixed herb crusts for roasts (chicken or pork) and makes an excellent addition to salad dressings. Some chefs suggest batter dipping and then deep frying for a garnish (Hint: make batters with some pureed pumpkin for extra flavor).