rosemary

Rosemary Love

Fresh Rosemary

I love cooking with rosemary. It adds such a wonderful, unique taste to foods. Rosemary has a spicy flavor with pine notes. It is a strong flavor, though, and needs to be used with a light hand. Subtle is the key to successfully cooking with this herb.

I must admit, I had to learn to love rosemary. The first time I cooked with fresh rosemary, I used too much. I ended up with lamb chops that tasted like menthol cough drops. I decided I didn’t like rosemary. Eventually, I tried it again and decided I had been too quick to dismiss rosemary.

Rosemary pairs well with lamb and pork. I like it in tomato sauce and it goes great in breads and baked goods. It also goes well with poultry and is an ingredient in poultry seasoning.

I grow rosemary in pots and bring the pots in for the winter. I live in a climate where rosemary may- or may not- survive winter. I don’t take the chance. It is easier to just bring the potted plants in for winter. I keep them in the basement, under grow lights. That way I have the added bonus of enjoying fresh rosemary year round. If you live in a more temperate area, you can plant rosemary right in the ground. It needs a fair amount of sunlight and well drained soil. Rosemary really is easy to grow.

So here are a few of my favorite rosemary recipes.

 Rosemary Oatmeal Bread

5-5 ½ c. flour

1 package active dry yeast

3 T. fresh rosemary or 1 T. dried, chopped

1 ½ t. salt

1 1/3 c. water

¼ c. milk

¼ c. molasses

¼ c. butter

1 egg

1 c. old fashioned oatmeal

In large bowl mix 1 cup of the flour with yeast and salt. In small pan heat together next 4 ingredients until warm. Pour into bowl with flour mixture and beat 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup additional flour and egg and beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in oatmeal and 1 cup more flour and stir, adding enough flour to form soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough on a greased bowl, turning to grease top and cover, allowing to rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Grease a large baking sheet and set aside. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a ball and place on prepared sheet. Cover with towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until done. Loaves are done when they sound hollow when tapped lightly. Makes 2 loaves.

This versatile dough can also be shaped into loaves and places in 8×4-inch greased loaf pans. Baking time will remain the same. Dough can also be divided into 24 equal pieces and shaped into dinner rolls. Bake rolls at 375 for 15 minutes.

Rosemary Biscuits

3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 ¾ c. biscuit mix, like Bisquick, I use homemade.
½ c. milk
2 t. minced fresh rosemary or ¾ t. dried

In mixing bowl cut cream cheese into biscuit mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk and rosemary and stir until soft dough forms. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough holds together, about ten times. Shape dough into a 6-inch square and cut into 4 3-inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Makes 8.

 

Cranberry-Rosemary Vinegar

This is a favorite food gift of mine. It is so festive and it tastes good, too.

All you need are bottles with corks or screw top lids. If using corks, be sure they are food grade. You’ll also need cranberries, bamboo skewers, fresh rosemary and vinegar- 5% acidity. I use red wine vinegar. Other vinegar will work, too. If you use white vinegar or cider vinegar they will pick up color from the berries and turn a pretty reddish shade. Not as red as with the wine vinegar, but still very pretty.

Since I bring my rosemary plants inside for the winter, I have access to fresh rosemary. Your local grocery store probably has some in the produce department. You can use other herbs, if you can’t find rosemary.

Make sure the skewers will fit in the bottles. Cut them down to fit, if needed. Skewer the berries on the skewers leaving a little room on the top of the skewer. If your cranberries are really big, test to make sure they will fit the neck of the bottle. The skewers keep the berries from floating around.

Place a few sprigs of rosemary in each bottle and then add the berry- filled skewers. Pour in the vinegar, leaving a little room for the cork. Sometimes you need to add a little more vinegar the next day as some will absorb into the cranberries and the skewers. I make decorative labels and give them as gifts. Ready to use in a week.

 

Poultry Seasoning

¼ c. dried parsley

3 T. dried marjoram

3 T. dried rosemary

3 T. dried thyme

2 T. dried savory

1 T. celery seed

1 T. dried sage

2 t. dried oregano

2 t. dried basil

1 t. ground allspice

1 t. fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Store in a cool, dry place to maintain freshness.

 

Rosemary Biscuits

Cranberry-Rosemary Vinegar

Rosemary Oatmeal Bread

Venetian Cabbage

Venetian Cabbage

Venetian Cabbage

I love cabbage in all sorts of dishes. Maybe it’s from my Eastern European roots but I like cabbage in salads, soups and side dishes. I really love it prepared this way. Smokiness from the bacon and a hint of rosemary and garlic. If you are looking for an easy and tasty way to prepare cabbage try this recipe for Venetian Cabbage. I think you will be pleased.

Venetian Cabbage

1/2 c. minced pancetta (Italian bacon) or thick bacon

2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of rosemary, minced- I used a bit more

1 T. olive oil

2 1/2 lbs. green cabbage, trimmed and shredded

1/2 c. chicken stock or white wine

Cook bacon, garlic and rosemary and oil in saucepan until mixture starts to sizzle. Stir in the cabbage, tossing to coat well. Cook, covered, over low heat for an hour adding the stock or wine a little at a time. Add salt to taste before serving. Serves 6.