Fresh Rosemary Use – Culinary or Landscape?
Rosemary is typically used as an herb in cooking but did you know that it adds a nice aroma to your landscape or garden? Rosemary is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region as a wild, expanding evergreen perennial shrub. Its flavor and scent are strong.
The woody fragrance reminds me of pine-like leaves of an evergreen tree. It can be made into hedges and cut into shaped topiaries. The tops of rosemary leaves have a deep green color with silvery bottoms. Unlike some delicate herbs like basil this herb is tough.
The pungent spiky leaves can be used fresh or dried and are mostly used in long cooking foods such as chicken, meats, soups, stews or sauces. Rosemary is also good in some vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans. It can be infused in olive oil for a flavorful dipping sauce.
Because rosemary has a strong flavor it should be added sparingly to foods initially but more can be added if needed. For all herbs, approximately 1/3 teaspoon ground herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs is equal in strength to 1 tablespoon fresh herbs.
When storing fresh rosemary, put a plastic bag around the leaves but leave enough space for air to circulate. Place stems in a jar or tall glass in about 2 inches of water and refrigerate. Fresh rosemary should last for about a week and for longer storage, it can be dried in a food dehydrator or air dried.
To remove fresh rosemary leaves, turn the plant in the opposite direction that the leave grow and run your fingers down along the stem to remove them. Use rosemary stems as skewers for grilling instead of a wooden or metal skewer. The flavor is awesome!