A violet, fragrant field appears as I walk along the gravel road along the coast of Gotland. The air is filled with the smell of ocean, wild strawberries and Wild Thyme, Thymus Serpyllum. Bees, butterflies and bumblebees are humming in extacy, thrilled by the nectar of the violet flowers. Their scent is warm, spicy, aromatic and earthy. I tend to hum along with the bees from sheer happiness.
As opposed to cultivated thyme, Thymus vulgaris, which can grow up to 15-20 centimeters tall, this wild one stays close to the ground. The stems rarely grow taller than ten centimeters. They get purple/violet flowers that grow like a wreath around the stem. Leaves are egg-shaped, small and almost hairy on the bottom.
Wild thyme grows abundantly here in Gotland, which is a rocky island with lots of lime in the soil .It’s actually rather common all over Sweden, and thrives where the ground is dry and rocky.
If you find it, bring home a handful to put in a salad, make an infusion or why not an aromatic herbal salt that goes with anything.
Today I was inspired to make a salad from fresh strawberries (that I fried with a little butter!), just harvested lettuce from a nearby organic farm, fresh basil and feta cheese, sprinkled with Wild Thyme flowers. I love summer food.
Goes very nicely with Wild Strawberries too…
– Infusion – just bring water to boil with a few sprigs of Wild Thyme. Turn off the heat. Drink hot or cold.
– Put some flowers in a jug of water and serve as a tasty beverage with food.
– Make strawberry jam spiced with Thyme flowers.
– Let strawberries and peaches soak in a syrup made from Wild Thyme flowers.
– Sprinkle flowers over a salad or any other dish.
– Mix flowers with warm lentils. Serve with olive oil.
– Grilling a whole fish? Fill it with lemon and Thyme flowers.
Mix Thyme Flowers with butter and eat on fresh corn on the cob. Or any other vegetable for that matter.
Add some flowers in the pan when stirfrying veggies or meat.
Put a bunch of flowers in a jar together with fine seasalt to use as an aromatic salt in hte winter.
Thyme is not just delicious, it also has medicinal properties: antibacterial, warming, stimulates blood cirkulation, calming, and good to treat a cold with.
That’s all folks,