Rosemary is a long-lasting plant peculiar to Mediterranean, which stays green throughout all seasons. It can grow naturally in the wild or it can be cultivated in a pot at home. It is easily noticeable in the nature, with its intense aroma, pleasant smell with a note of pine, soft needle leaves and small blue-purple flowers. Rosemary also grows in the mild climates of Europe and America. Most commonly used in the Mediterranean cuisine, rosemary is an aromatic herb that draws attention with its unique flavor in meals.
Rosemary has a resinous, peppery, warm and strong aroma with notes of pine. One can sense nutmeg and camphor in its aroma. Its main flavor comes from its leaves. The flavor is revealed once the flowers are cut or boiled.
In Mediterranean cuisine, rosemary is used to give flavor to grilled or sautéed vegetables with olive oil, as well as to create an original taste for meals prepared with tomatoes. It blends well with meat and chicken. It also works well with casseroles and braised meals. Rosemary is ideal for marinating lamb meat. When added to grilled or barbecued red or white meat, it adds a smoky aroma. Also, rosemary perfectly compliments cookies, crackers, different types of bread and most notably the Italian bread, focaccia.
You can grow rosemary in your own home and you can use its dried leaves, which preserves its aroma for a long time and which can be crumbled easily.
Its strong aroma reveals itself in meals immediately. Therefore, you need to control its aroma by using it in small quantities. With fresh rosemary, just one branch is enough. With dried rosemary, a large pinch is sufficient. When using fresh rosemary, try adding it to your meals after chopping it up very finely, as its leaves are very hard to chew.
One of the best vegetables that blend well with rosemary is potato. Try using rosemary with olive oil when roasting potatoes or sautéing them in a pan after boiling them. If you wish, you can also enrich its taste by adding finely chopped red pepper and sliced black olives.
When grilling red meat or chicken, try heating your pan with olive oil and adding a clove of garlic, a branch of rosemary and thyme. Keep these ingredients in the pan along with the meat and when it’s done just serve the meat. The pleasant smell of rosemary mixed with garlic will make the meat much more tasty.
Rosemary adds a unique aroma to chicken. Mix finely diced fresh rosemary or crumbled dried rosemary with a bit of salt, freshly ground black pepper and olive oil. Rub this sauce with your hands on the skin of the chicken before putting it in the oven. Then roast the chicken until it is golden-brown. The rosemary mix will infuse the meat and create a delicious and aromatic meal.
You can serve garlic bread slices prepared with rosemary and serve these with soups and meals. For this, mix finely chopped fresh rosemary or crumbled dried rosemary with one or two cloves of garlic and melted butter. Then spread this mix on slices of bread and roast them until they are fried. You will create an irreplaceable taste.
By adding one or two branches of fresh rosemary to your olive oil bottle, you can also give your olive oil a pleasant aroma.
Instead of adding old and durable branches to your meals, you can use them as wooden skewers when you are cooking meat on your barbecue. This way, the original aroma of rosemary will be transferred to your meat and also, your meal will look lovely when served. You can also use these branches as a brush, when spreading oil on the meats that you are going to barbecue.