Meet my Friend, Rosemary

rosemary

Rosemary is one of the few herbs I never tire of and don’t think can ever become cliche. She pairs beautifully with so many foods that she has become one of my best friends in the kitchen. Plus, she smells divine.

Vital Stats

Rosemary is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean. With woody stems and evergreen-like foliage, she is very hardy; she can withstand a range of temperatures and amounts of water. A member of the mint family, her name means dew of the sea in Latin.

Or, legend has it that the Virgin Mary spread her blue cloak over a blossoming rosemary bush during a period of rest and the flowers turned from white to blue. After that, the shrub became known as Rose of Mary, or rosemary. She then became sacred to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, even being used in wedding ceremonies in the Middle Ages. At that time she was considered a love charm, so the bride would wear a headpiece made of rosemary while the groom and guests would wear a sprig of the herb.

Health Benefits

Rosemary has been shown to:

  • improve memory
  • boost mood
  • reduce inflammation
  • relieve pain
  • assist the immune system
  • stimulate circulation
  • detox the body
  • be antibacterial
  • prevent premature aging
  • heal skin conditions

How to use Rosemary

Here is where she really shines: from everything to veggies to meats and seafood, breads to tea, barbecue to stuffing. Rosemary has been classically used with lamb, pork, chicken, beef, and turkey. I love her with potatoes, zucchini, and mixed into focaccia dough.

Her hardiness makes her able to stand up to high heat cooking methods like roasting and grilling. Her flavor sings in a marinade without overwhelming other flavors. Rosemary loves to be paired with lemon, nutty cheeses, and pears.

One of my new favorite recipes uses lots of rosemary with a beef roast that cooks low and slow. So all day the house is filled with heady aromas that bring comfort and a hearty appetite.

Adapted only slightly from Stupid Easy Paleo:

  • 1 T ghee or bacon fat
  • 3.5 lbs of a cheaper roast
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • ¼ c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 300°

Pat both sides of the roast dry with paper towel, then sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

In a dutch oven over medium high heat, melt your fat until it’s very hot. Add the roast and sear 5 – 7 minutes on each side. You’re looking for a brown crust that releases easily from the bottom of the pot.

Add the liquids and rosemary to the dutch oven so that it comes about halfway up the side of the roast. Cover and put in the oven for 3 hours.

Serve with a simple steamed veggie and mashed potatoes or a nice crusty bread.

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