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Jan 20, 2008 11:18 AM

ISO fast way to get thyme leaves off the stalks

Have bee doing a bunch of stuff with fresh thyme recently -- such a great taste but getting the little leaves off the stalks takes forever. Anyone have any techniques or secrets to make it go a little faster?

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  1. If you can get thyme with woody stems, the leaves strip off easy (and just pinch off the top bit). If the thyme stems are really tender (such that stripping with your thumb and forefinger is impossible), you can just chop them with the leaves.

    1. I just grasp the stem near the tip (the end with the young leaves) and pull or rub down the stem toward the base (the end where it was cut). The leaves come off the stem quite easily.

      The few little leaves at the tip break off with a bit of tender stem that can be chopped in with the leaves.

      1. I hold the tip with one hand and then slide the thumb and pointer finger of my other hand along the sprig. I saw someone pull the sprigs through the tines of a fork once too. When I tried that the tines of my forks all seemed to be too wide and didn't do the trick.

        1. If you are putting them in a stew or soup, you can just put in the whole sprig and the leaves will fall off as it cooks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mellicita

            If I'm putting more than one sprig in a soup I usually tie them together with kitchen string making it much easier to pull out the woody parts after the leaves fall off.