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Substitute for fresh thyme or should I use dried?

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I'm making Molly Stevens Braised celery which calls for fresh or dried thyme. I'm out of fresh thyme but have sage, tarragon, oregano and rosemary. Should I substitute or just go with the dried? TIA.

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  1. Just go with dried thyme but adjust the amount, dried herbs are usually more potent than fresh.

    1. Are you also out of fresh dried thyme? Use it if you have it--dried thyme is pretty decent stuff.

      Couldn't hurt to use one of the fresh herbs as well or instead, I bet, so long as you understand their qualities--sparing use of sage and rosemary, for example, as they can be overpowering; and for my own taste, I just don't like tarragon, although in fact it might be as close or closer to thyme in aromatic character as the other herbs you name.

      1. Go with the dried thyme. With braised celery, you might find it's even better than the fresh.

        1. I would go with the dried thyme as well. If you want, you can add a little fresh tarragon as well.

          Whatever you do, never, never, NEVER mix tarragon and oregano. Don't do it. EVER. Its absolutely, positively, one of the most, if not the most *VILE* herb combination possible.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ePressureCooker

            I hereby SWEAR that I will NEVER mix tarragon! EVER. Somebody told me it's the "most *VILE* herb combination possible."

            1. re: c oliver

              tarragon combines well with many other herbs very well, I particularly like chives and parsley with it in hash; but it doesn't do well with rosemary, sage or oregano, oregano being the worst of the bunch in combination. ;D

              1. re: c oliver

                Indeed, the only thing worse than oregano mixed with tarragon is tarragon straight up. Don't go there!

                1. re: Bada Bing

                  I assumed that was a typographical error, and wasn't going to point out the omission.

                  1. re: ePressureCooker

                    Didn't notice til now. Should stick with copy/paste :)

                    1. re: ePressureCooker

                      I also didn't notice the typo, seriously. I was just jokingly referring to my aversion for tarragon as such. But, everyone's got their tastes. On a separate thread about ingredients that we don't like for hard-to-specify reasons, I listed tarragon and hazelnut. Don't like 'em, and don't know why.

                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        +1 on the hazelnuts :(

              2. Sounds like the Recipe says that you can use either.
                "calls for fresh or dried thyme" Dry Thyme is fine.

                1. Thanks, all. I have some Penzey's dried thyme and I think I may add some of the fresh tarragon as it's a flavor I've only 'discovered" recently and really like it.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver

                    Tarragon also makes a wonderful chicken salad recipe for sandwiches, if you've never tried it.

                    1. re: ePressureCooker

                      I'm just now sitting down to some chicken salad...with tarragon :)

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Ah, I see I'm preaching to the choir, sorry about that! ;D

                  2. i always try to use fresh

                    1. I think the dried might actually be superior in this recipe. Those evergreeny-aromatics like thyme, rosemary, oregano don't just get stronger when they dry, I kind of feel like they become deeper and more complex. And that it comes out especially when cooked for a while, as in a braise, or something like a marinara sauce.

                      1. I agree with the recommendations for dried thyme, especially since you have some that's good quality. Generally when substituting dried herbs for fresh you'll want to use about one third the quantity that the recipe calls for.

                        But I also agree fresh tarragon would work well in braised celery.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: eclecticsynergy

                          I would start with dried and finish with fresh in a braise. Tarragon especially, cilantro never for me. YMMV.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            I wish I'd thought of finishing with the fresh tarragon. Next time.

                          2. re: eclecticsynergy

                            I'm using some dried thyme and some fresh tarragon! Thanks for weighing in.

                          3. Thyme is one of those herbs that I've heard some people prefer it dried, similar to oregano.

                            1. It was very tasty with a combo of dried thyme and the fresh tarragon. But I DO wish I had added the tarragon at the end. Thanks for the advice.