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Time for wild time

There are no shortage of goodies growing wild in the Algarve for the foraging foodie. Wild herbs, especially thyme are the most readily available and easy to find. On rocky slopes in the hills and on cliff tops all along the central and western coastline thyme often scents the air and its there for the picking. This  most versatile of herbs is so abundant that it really is a crime to buy it in the shops. From my home in Carvoeiro its just a short stroll to cliff-tops around Algarve Seco and the thyme is particularly easy to spot at this time of year with its purple flowers in full bloom, as can be seen in these photos taken last weekend. It can be foraged pretty much year round but is at its peak in late spring and early summer. The petals have a lovely sweet and slightly spicy taste whilst the flavour of the green leaves, drier and darker now than they would have been a month or so ago, is at its most concentrated. The flowers are great sprinkled on salads or as a garnish for meat dishes whilst the leaves, bruised in a pestle and mortar and mixed with garlic and some black pepper make a delicious rub for roast or bbq meats.

Patrick Stuart