Rosemary has a strong, piney flavor that intensifies when cooked to add permeating, herbaceous taste. Dried, needle-like Rosemary leaves can be used sparingly in sauces or rubbed on grilled and roasted meats and vegetables.
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Add directly to recipes. Crush or grind for finer texture.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Rosemary is a woody, aromatic evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean region. Often found growing near the ocean, its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, translates to "dew of the sea" because the plant can survive with no water other than the humidity of the sea breeze.
The ancient Greeks and Romans valued Rosemary due to its reputation for strengthening memory. For this reason, it came to be viewed as a symbol of fidelity (remembrance of vows) between lovers and was often used in wedding ceremonies, as well as funerals. In many parts of Wales, it is still customary to distribute sprigs of Rosemary to mourners to be cast into the coffin before lowering it into the grave, as a symbol of remembrance of the deceased. Similarly, Australians customarily wear sprigs of rosemary on their lapels on significant national holidays tied to remembrance, such as ANZAC Day.
Rosemary, which gives off a piney, woodsy aroma when burned or toasted, was often used in ancient religious ceremonies in place of more expensive incense.
Rosemary has been used medicinally for thousands of years as a remedy for scourges as varied as headache, stomachache, colds, premature baldness, limb paralysis, poor circulation, asthma and gout. In these applications, it was often brewed as a hot tea or distilled with alcohol and made into a spirit, called "Hungary water," named for Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, who wrote of being cured of paralysis by this elixir in the 13th century.
Rosemary's needle-like leaves are used today as an herb to complement a wide variety of foods, but are vital to the Italian and Greek cuisines of the Mediterranean. It provides an important flavor to traditional roasted leg of lamb and other roasted meats, and can also flavor smoked barbecued foods. It is often incorporated into stuffings and vegetable dishes, soups, fish, sauces and even some desserts.
Black Pepper-Rosemary Bread
Easy and ultra-aromatic, this rosemary-laced bread is delicious dipped in olive oil or slathered with garlic butter. Allow about 3 hours for the whole process, which includes letting the dough rise.