by Kate Heyhoe
Some herbs taste good both fresh and dried, but to my tastes, rosemary isn't one of them.
It's not that dried rosemary doesn't have a pleasant flavor, it's just that most of the time, dried rosemary doesn't have much flavor at all. After the first use, a jar of dried rosemary quickly fades, leaving it with all the aroma and potency of fallen Christmas tree needles in July.
Fortunately, the last two homes we've owned came complete with rosemary shrubs on the grounds. Rosemary grows in many varieties, and for landscapers, trailing rosemary is a hardy perennial that sports lovely blue flowers and stands up vigorously to both heat and cold.
Unlike basil, rosemary lasts year round. In the sunbelt, outdoor rosemary shrubs survive the warm winters well, but in frosty places, you're best off with potted rosemary, which enjoys the winters indoors.
Italians love to skewer meats and poultry on sprigs of rosemary. For smoked foods, I often throw soaked sprigs directly on the coals, as you would wood chips. Tuck a couple of sprigs inside the cavity of a whole chicken and squeeze on some lemon juice for a cozy roast chicken with style. Rosemary-infused oil can be made at home or bought at any gourmet store, and even some supermarkets.
Here's a collection of recipes that make the most of this piney Mediterranean herb. By the way, the Greeks wove rosemary sprigs into their locks, as a memory enhancer, crushing the leaves to release their heady aroma and aid concentration. Think about that next time you're suffering from mid-day slump!
Copyright © 2004, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created September 2004
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