The scent of rosemary awakens the senses, raises alertness and evokes memories. Both spicy and woodsy, rosemary’s scent and appearance reminds us of pine woods and Christmas trees. It also reminds us of steaming, savory winter stews. It’s a memory-maker.
A member of the mint family, the rosemary bush is related to basil, lavender, myrtle and sage. It has a Latin name, rosmarinus officinalis, and grows to usually three feet high. Its name translates from “sea” and “dew,” for its reminding us of the sea spray drifting off its native Mediterranean Sea. Not many herbs look like Christmas tree needles.
In addition to being an herbal flavoring and a rub to prevent meat spoilage, earlier rosemary was used as an inexpensive incense in religious ceremonies. More recently it is used as an eco-friendly cleaning agent and disinfectant.
Rosemary is a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium and copper. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron and manganese. Health attributes include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents and it can stimulate liver detoxification.
Rosemary’s culinary uses range from meat rub to cookies and bread baking. As your food slowly cooks, breathe in its heady scent and think of Christmas…
Rosemary is a welcome accent to:
Meat dishes with garlic
Sauces and gravies with parsley and red wine
Beans, with garlic and onion
Fish, with lemon and rice
Breads and pizza crusts