Lemon thyme grows beautifully in my garden — a charming, vigorous herb that smells like a cross between fresh squeezed lemon rind and mellow thyme. It makes a bright, delicious pesto, ideal on fresh tomatoes.
I had a bounty of tomatoes from my CSA box and wanted a new way to highlight their sweet flavors. Lemon Thyme Pesto did the trick. Enjoy!
Lemon Thyme Pesto
1/4 cup lightly packed lemon thyme leaves (rinsed, stems removed)
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
2 TB avocado oil or any other neutral flavor oil*
1 clove garlic, crushed
sea salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Taste for salt and lemon juice, and adjust as needed. Serve on cut fresh ripe tomatoes for a delicious, simple salad. Also great on other fresh cut vegetables including cucumber, jicama, baby squash. Also works well on grilled fish or chicken.
*I use good olive oil when I make basil pesto, but for this recipe I wanted a lighter flavor oil to allow the sweet fragrance of the lemon thyme to shine.
If you decide to grow some lemon thyme, know that there are several different cultivars of this herb commonly sold and you may not be able to buy one called simply Lemon Thyme. Don’t be put off by this. The key to knowing what you’ll be growing is to lightly rub your fingers on the leaves of the thyme plant and smell. Does it smell like fresh lemon? That’s all you really need to know.