|A snail enjoying the taste and aroma |
of my thyme
In my opinion, simple and healthy cooking is tasty. It is completely untrue that healthy food is not tasty. By simply adding a simple spice or herb and some butter or oil you are able to turn a simple vegetable or piece of fish or meat into a delicious tasting meal. The Italian kitchen is about simplicity and letting the produce speak for itself. Most Italian recipes are simply constructed using the minimum of ingredients. I have taken this on board with my healthy children's recipes as I think we can sometimes overwhelm a child's palate too early on in this country.
Seasoning is also a very important element of creating simple yet tasty food. Without it we do not bring out the best of the produce we buy. Obviously when cooking for children we need to be careful with the salt content of our meals. When my children were very young I left out salt from their meals but after 3 years of age I added a little just to enhance the flavour of their meals. Shop bought pre-prepared meals are full of salt. Even Annabel Karmel's children's meals were found to have high levels of sugar and salt in them.
|Pan fried potatoes with thyme|
I have only recently (over the last 5 years) learned the wonders of thyme. I put thyme is most of my dishes now. My mother-in-law even put some fresh thyme is her Yorkshire puddings last weekend and it just took them to a different level of deliciousness. At first, my little boy used to pick the individual thyme leaves out of every meal (and they are not very big) but after me persevering he now loves the flavour and recognises thyme in the garden.
A couple of ways I use thyme to enhance my dishes:
- Add some thyme to breadcrumbs when making homemade chicken nuggets or fresh omelettes
- Marinade lamb chops in oil, ginger, garlic and fresh thyme
- Add thyme to homemade tomato sauces instead of basil as a lovely alternative
- Add thyme to roast or pan fried potatoes for extra depth of flavour