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What Is Rosemary?
The rosemary plant is a perennial shrub native to the Mediterranean region. Its Latin name, rosmarinus officinalis, means “dew of the sea.” Rosemary comes from the mint family of plants (aka Lamiaceae) and is known for its distinct woody stems with needle-like leaves and evergreen aroma, which is contained in the oil inside the herb’s dark green needles.
What Does Rosemary Taste Like?
There is no flavor quite like rosemary. This woodsy aromatic herb has notes of evergreen, citrus, lavender, pine, sage, pepper, mint, and sage. Unlike more fragile herbs, this sturdy ingredient holds up extremely well to heat and prolonged cooking times, and can be added at the beginning of cooking to braises and stews. In fact, the longer rosemary is cooked in liquid, the stronger the flavor becomes. This sturdiness makes rosemary a great component of the French bouquet garni.
How to Prep Rosemary
After harvesting the fresh herb, rinse the bunch under cold water in a colander, gently rubbing the rosemary stems to remove any dirt or debris. Pat the herb dry with a paper towel. Rosemary can be used with the needles removed and minced or as whole sprigs, to infuse flavor into a larger dish like a stew or roast.
To strip the rosemary leaves from the stem, pull the needles in the opposite direction from which they grow and they should easily slide off the stalk. The needles are easy to gather in a bunch and mince, by rocking your knife back and forth over the pile until it's fine.
15 Rosemary Recipes
- Rack of Lamb With Rosemary: A rack of lamb rubbed with a mixture of garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. Roasted in a hot oven until cooked through.
- Fried Chicken: Chef Thomas Keller tops his fried chicken with a rosemary seasoning salt.
- Rosemary Focaccia: An airy Italian bread made with chopped fresh rosemary, olive oil, and flaky salt.
- Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken: Chicken breast marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, salt, and pepper, pan fried with capers.
- Rosemary Gin and Tonic: A refreshing twist on a classic cocktail made with rosemary-infused simple syrup and garnished with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
- Herbed Rosemary Butter: A flavorful herb butter made with chopped fresh rosemary, minced garlic, and other fresh herbs.
- Rosemary Roast Potatoes: Skin-on new potatoes tossed in butter, salt, and chopped rosemary and roasted until golden and tender.
- Rosemary Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil infused with rosemary sprigs, strained, and used for savory culinary creations.
- Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary: Form a bed of rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a roasting pan. Lay cut up root vegetables on top, season with salt and seal tightly with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Essences of thyme, rosemary, and parsley infuse roasted root vegetables as they cook in a 425ºF oven.
- Lemon Rosemary Bundt Cake: An aromatic bundt cake made with fresh rosemary leaf, lemon zest, and candied lemon peel.
- Strawberry and Rosemary Jam: A summery jam made with stewed strawberries, sugar, and fresh rosemary.
- Whipped Rosemary Goat Cheese: A creamy dip made with goat cheese, cream cheese, lemon zest, and rosemary combined in a food processor until light and whipped.
- Rosemary Parmesan Crackers: Homemade crackers made with flour, salt, parmesan cheese, and fresh or dried rosemary.
- Mashed Potatoes With Fresh Rosemary: A creamy preparation of mashed potatoes made with butter, heavy cream, and fresh rosemary leaves.
- Herb-Crusted Branzino: Make an herb crust with bread crumbs, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives, and tarragon for the perfect fish seasoning.
What Are the Health Benefits of Rosemary?
Rich in folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, rosemary is a healthful addition to any diet. This beneficial herb is also rich in antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help to fight free-radicals, improve the blood circulation of the body, and is good for boosting the overall immune system.
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