What's the Best Way to Pull Fresh Thyme? Rachael Answers!

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Ever found that pulling fresh thyme eats up, well, all your time? (Sorry, we had to.) Well, you're not alone! One of our viewers feels just the same, which is why she asked Rach if she's got any hot tips for making the fresh leaf-pulling process any easier.

And naturally, our girl does! Listen up.

QUESTION: Do you have any tips for working with fresh thyme? I can't seem to get the hang of pulling the leaves off the stems. It takes forever to get a usable amount!

MAKE: John Cusimano's "Have You Got The Thyme, Tom Collins?" Cocktail

RACHAEL'S ANSWER: "You hold it at the top and just pull gently backwards — [but] it depends on how tough the stems are. So I don't know if you grow thyme and have a little garden, or if you're buying it in the grocery store, but you want a stem that looks a little thicker and tougher, actually, because the leaves are more developed and it will be easier to strip them back. When the thyme is lemon thyme or very young thyme and the stems are very soft, it can be a little more tedious.

"But it's worth the time to pick the thyme! It's a delicious citrusy flavor."

MORE: How To Chop ANY Herb The Rach Way

She adds, though, "I do think that dried thyme — it's a go-to in the pantry, occasionally, and I use it in salad dressing and stuff. It's a perfectly fine substitute if you don't have the patience for it [pulling it fresh]."

Long story short, as Rach says, thyme is worth the time! (If you haven't tried using it in Clodagh McKenna's Thyme-Herbed Soda Bread, you'll want to asap!) But if you don't have the time, dried thyme is great, too.

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