rosemary

rosemary

“That’s rosemary, for remembrance.”

The past few days have been witheringly hot around here. Certainly, those of you in the Midwest can make fun of us when we wilt in 90° plus. But you know, we are used to cool marine air, morning mist, and blue-skied days in the 70s for most of July. When I step onto the back porch to take out the recycling in mid-day, and my feet start to fry like that mythical egg on the sidewalk, I’m shocked.

Plus, take 1 darling baby who fights sleep on cool days, and add 20° = no sleep for anyone.

We were a little cranky last evening, when the clock read 9:30 pm and the thermometer 84°. Danny was taking his turn trying to soothe a sweaty baby. I walked into the garden for the first time all day.

The promised garden of May has become dry grass and shriveling shoots. The lush plants of late spring are all still alive, but they are starting to sound faintly like The Wicked Witch of the West: “I’m melting. I’m melting!” Except, instead of melting, they are drying. No matter how much we stand patiently waiting with the hose running, some plants are waning. It hasn’t rained here since May 19th.

This is just outside of Seattle I’m talking about, after all.

Last evening, I stepped into the garden and saw the rosemary. The rosemary is still thriving.

Rosemary smells like deep woods and the sharp sting of pine needles in the nose. It’s pungent and tough, a tiny bit bitter, like a jaded fighter with his guard up. Rosemary tastes like grilled meats and polenta in the evening and lemonade with a kick. In summer, it’s stronger than in the winter. All that sun seems to bring out its assertive nature.

We like chopped rosemary on roasted lamb, a light dusting of it on seared salmon, threads of it in a plate of roasted potatoes, and in a marinade with lime and lemon juice for zucchini on the grill. It brings out the full flavor of pumpkin soup, roasted duck breast, and a crusty loaf of gluten-free bread.

One whiff of rosemary reminded me of the scope of the year ahead.

The heat will pass. The baby will learn to sleep.

One smell of the rosemary in our garden on that unfocused, over-heated evening, and I was feeling strong again. I went back inside to help the baby let go.

summerfest badge

Today’s post kicks off Summer Fest 2009. Danny and I are honored to be part of this four-week cross-blog event, co-created last year by Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden, Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple. This year, they’ve asked a couple of new folks to join in, including Simmer Till Done’s Marilyn Pollack Naron and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project. Oh, and Danny and me.

And you.

THE 2009 SCHEDULE:

* Tuesday, July 28: HERBS. Any and all.

* Tuesday, August 4: FRUITS FROM TREES

* Tuesday, August 11: BEANS-AND-GREENS WEEK

* Tuesday, August 18: TOMATO WEEK.

HOW YOU CAN JOIN IN:

Leave a comment here, sharing your tips with rosemary. Or your favorite herb. We’d love to learn what you do.

And then go visit the other blogs, to read their ideas and leave comments with them. Soon, this will feel like a huge party, focused on rosemary. (And next week, we’ll do the same with fruit.)

66 comments on “rosemary

  1. Katya Kosiv

    I enjoy rosemary most on roasted potatoes and recently discovered its delicious presence in pumpkin soup. Fresh is best, but dried isn’t bad either.

    I’m going to try that marinade for zucchini!

  2. Pam

    I use fresh rosemary in my favorite red potato salad recipe. It blends with red wine vinegar, fresh parsley and basil — it screams summer to me.

    I also add fresh rosemary to my pizza crust as well. A little rosemary, a little parmesean — we love Friday pizza night.

  3. Julie

    This is such a great idea. My favourite rosemary recipe, if I was put up against a wall and forced to pick one, is homemade rosemary-raisin pecan crisps (Raincoast Crisps, to which I am addicted): http://tinyurl.com/mab2jl — I wonder if you could make a gluten-free version?

    In terms of growing my own herbs, have the best luck with flat-leaf Italian parsley, great for fresh parsley hummus: http://tinyurl.com/mamrv5, brown and wild rice salad with dried fruit and pecans: http://tinyurl.com/l4tljn, and today I loaded up a lemony new potato salad with peas: http://tinyurl.com/lfkhby

  4. beyond

    I love rosemary on lamb. who doesn’t? I also usually add some to the flour (or cornmeal) I roll the pizza crust out on. and a sprig of rosemary in the pan with the root vegetable to roast in the oven.
    oh and once I had an fairly exclusive rosemary shower gel that was delectable.

  5. Margaret Roach

    Rosemary for hope (not remembrance, but hope) in a tough garden year. I love that you saw the beacon in your plant, Shauna, because this gardening stuff is humbling. No wonder so much of it is done on our knees!

    Thanks so much for talking rosemary for our debut Summer Fest. I had almost forgotten how easy it is to freeze it (in cubes with a little oil or water). So much better than dried (ugh). And you know I am the Freezer Queen (among other dubious honors).

    http://awaytogarden.com/growing-and-storing-a-year-of-parsley

  6. Swiss

    Oh I love the way you write, describe…When I see it, feel it, smell it I think all those things but usually do not say it as well as you.

    BTW, I hope the crankiness and teething subside very soon –maybe she needs rosemary rubbed on her gums. ; )

  7. Swiss

    Opps my post did not join in on the rosemary — exactly.

    So–

    I love it in stuffing (I use brown rice) I think the song says it best as to what makes a perfect stuffing — parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

    I grow some of my rosemary on a hoop so the area is now called “the rosemary hoop garden”.

  8. Ann

    Rosemary is wonderful! Alas, in my cool and shaded Iowa yard, it squats and refuses to respond. The sage, on the other hand, practically bursts forth in song! Though I attempt impartiality, it is my favorite garden child. I let it reach and grow, waiting until Jack Frost is imminent before sadly cutting it and carrying it inside, where it flavors many autumn dishes while reminding me of the summer we loved.

  9. Jessica Waters

    warm ginger rosemary lemon drink, not the exact recipe I use, but close enough, gosh, do I love this soul-nourishing elixir, especially in winter:

    Lemon, ginger and rosemary infusion
    Makes 6 cups
    By Skye Gyngell
    http://tinyurl.com/l6mlwf

    I love the clean taste of hot water infused with herbs and citrus. It aids digestion and leaves you feeling warm and satiated. Rosemary has the added advantage that it aids in the digestion of fat while you sleep.

    1 bunch of rosemary
    1 inch thumb of ginger, sliced into rounds
    The peel of two lemons
    6–8 cups of boiling water

    Place the rosemary, ginger and lemon peel in an infusion or regular teapot. Add the boiling water and leave to infuse for five minutes. Serve immediately.

  10. Gavan, 'The Healthy Irishman'

    Hey guys, I love this Summer Fest idea. My wife and I grow pretty much all our own herbs and friends in our tiny backyard from Cilantro to Mint to Thai basil and a few in between, including peppers and strawberries. It’s really easy to do and just being able to go out and pick fresh herbs is great.
    Here’s one of my recipes where I did just that which has the added bonus of being gluten free.
    http://thehealthyirishman.com/2009/07/mango-jalapeno-crabcakes-gluten-free/

    Looking forward to the next few weeks.
    Thanks.

  11. cottagesweet

    And, rosemary has lots of health benefits! Makes a great tea by steeping a hand bruised sprig in hot water for about 5 minutes.

  12. La Niña

    It was 99ºf when I drove back from downtown Seattle this afternoon! I’m wilting. The tomatoes, eggplant and basil in the garden LOVE the heat. (as long as we keep watering in the morning…)

    Rosemary, to me, has always played a starring role in my cold weather cooking. Especially in combination with poultry. But I ADORE and crave it in my modified version of Jerry Traunfeld’s “Maple Rosemary Pear Clafouti.” (I just made it gluten-free by using sweet rice flour, otherwise I’m fairly faithful.) The smell of the rosemary infusing the maple syrup is truly heaven on earth– two trees in a sweet concert of flavor.

    But summer, for me, is for sorrel. Sorrel on salmon, and sorrel in potato salad. Parsley is pedestrian. Sorrel is sublime!

    Stay cool Mama and Lu. I’m hanging in the hammock.

  13. white on rice couple

    hooray for your rosemary! This is one of those herbs that we often take for granted down here. The warm weather is very kind to rosemary and it grows like a weed, even in our “winter”.
    Your lightly dusted rosemary on salmon sounds like a delight, we can’t wait to try that!

    We’re envious of your beautiful garden after seeing your gorgeous rhubarb!

  14. Stacie

    Roasted with garlic and root veggies…dash of olive oil and salt and pepper…that is my favorite way to use it. But I am excited to learn some other ways too…

  15. Jen

    We love to steep rosemary with balsamic vinegar and a bit of honey then soak fresh figs in the warm vinegar. The figs get eaten with Spanish Blue cheese and a drizzle of that yummy reduction.

  16. Britt

    How funny–I just commented the other night that I feel lately as though we’re living in Seattle. This has been the rainiest summer of my life! Perhaps someone thought it would be funny to swap NYC and Seattle’s summer climates. Okay, good joke, let’s put them back now…

    Mmm rosemary. One of my favorites! I like to put rosemary in tomato sauce. It’s unexpected and adds a deep savory quality.

  17. amanda

    I love rosemary! It is not only one of the few things that will actually grow in our thick clay soil, but it thrives like nothing I’ve ever seen. In Melbourne (Australia, not Florida), we are in the midst of a drought that has lasted nearly 10 years. My plants get no water, yet we can cut the rosemary bush back to a twig, and in three months it is enormous again.

    I love rosemary in with roasted potatoes and sea salt, with lamb in all its forms, and with mushrooms fried in garlic and lemon juice. But most of all, I love it on my dog… he regularly romps through the rosemary bush and then comes in for a cuddle, sweetly pefumed and making me dream of roast lamb!

  18. Tori

    My favorite way to use rosemary is finely chopped and tossed with cubed butternut squash, olive oil, fresh black pepper and a small handful of sugar. All roasted together in the oven at 375 until the squash is browned outside and soft and yielding inside.

    The rosemary offers a spicyness that pepper doesn’t and the sugar helps carmalize the squash perfectly. I make extra and eat it heaped in bowls for breakfast and lunch for days.

  19. Elizabeth

    I’m drooling thinking of Jerry Traunfeld’s “Maple Rosemary Pear Clafouti.” as mentioned by LaNina.

    I’ll sometimes cut long stalks of rosemary and thread it into a pork tenderloin, then salt and pepper the pork and chuck it on the grill. The pork gets infused with that lovely piney flavor. Serve with a port, fig and rosemary sauce…delicious!

    chopped rosemary, mint and thyme on lambchops–cook on the grill

    Roasted potatoes: I’ll chuck rosemary, lemon juice, lemon peel and butter in with the spuds and roast until crispy.

    Roasted Tomatoes. Cut whole tomats in half, place cut side up in pan, sprinkle each half with a bit of sugar (1/2 to 1 teaspoon), a bit of salt, minced rosemary on top and wee bit of butter. HEAVENLY.

    Rosemary infused lemonade.

    Mmmm. Wishing it wasn’t too hot to put the oven on now.

  20. Anonymous

    Grilled rosemary chicken. Add it to a greens salad with fruit, nuts, and poppyseed dressing. Delicious!

  21. Banannas

    Like Jessica above, I also love rosemary with a ginger drink…but instead of ginger lemonade, i make a fresh ginger beer (or ale, if you want a muted ginger bite) infused with a little rosemary. the flavors + carbonation = bubbly bliss

    A sprig of rosemary also makes a nice visual add-in when you serve this drink in clear glasses topped with ice.

  22. honeygirl

    Rosemary is my absolute favourite. My husband often brings some home from a heritage garden that he has access to…what a treat.
    My two favourite uses for rosemary are in roasted tomato passata and rosemary roasted nuts. Heaven!

  23. Laura

    I love to use rosemary in Bolognese sauce.

    I always sautee boiled potatoes in butter, oil, and plenty of rosemary.

    I add rosemary to my split pea soup.

    I cook ossobuco with onions, lots of sage and rosemary, and some white wine, as simple as that.

    I have used it with pears in dessert, like a pear tart tatine.

  24. Hannah

    How could anyone say something not nice to you all?

    Rosemary, that’s for remembrance, pray you love remember? And there’s pansies, that’s for thoughts.

    (I think I got that right)

    Rosemary, you can put it in lemonade. Over roasted veges, use it as skewers for grilling, put it in a vase and call it just so darn pretty.

    Thanks for all your lovely posts,
    Hannah

  25. Anonymous

    Maybe stating the obvious here but we use a sprig of rosemary to brush butter on corn on the cob. Subtle but nice.

    Also for the grill, make foil packets with large diced red skin potatoes, lemon pepper, rosemary, sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Seal packet and check for doneness, delicious!(If time is an issue you can always precook potatoes till almost tender and repeat the rest of the process for a shorter grill time.

  26. babyjenks

    rosemary lemonade is what i like to do if i have quite a bit of rosemary around. it doesn’t grow here in boston like it does in seattle. i miss the huge bushes that need pruning so i can make lemonade.

    make a simple syrup and very gently heat the rosemary and the syrup for at least an hour. then make lemonade. sooooo delicious and refreshing! the rosemary seems floral and the smell is illusive and woodsy with the tang of the lemon to brighten it up.

    ahhhhh…

  27. Julialuli

    I love rosemary when it’s stripped of it’s needles with the top left on and used for presentation as a skewer. It’s so unexpected!

    Also, Rosemary Lemon sugar cookies! They take a tea party to a whole new place.

  28. Carol

    I love rosemary on almost any meat. But did you know you can also use it as a cleaner? Take 1–2 branches of rosemary with the leaves on it and bring it to a boil in about 2 cups of water, then simmer for 30 minutes-makes the kitchen smell lovely. Cool and pour into a spray bottle and you can use it as a multi-purpose cleaner (not for glass). See item #17 (herbal disinfectant) at this link:
    http://www.treehuggingfamily.com/25-safe-non-toxic-homemade-cleaning-supplies/

  29. Lyndie

    My mom taught me to put rosemary in the flour mixture for fried chicken. It is that extra ingredient that you didn’t realize you needed but making the chicken without it is now unthinkable!

    Thanks for your post! I thought I was the only one who had ruined my herb garden (except for the rosemary of course!)…we are in Portland, 104 today!

  30. Flower gyrl

    One of my favorite herb recipes is using fresh basil, and it is a huge hit for summer-time parties. Take pineapple juice (fresh or bottled) and infuse it with plenty of fresh basil. Let it steep for a while, and then serve over ice.

    My basil is crazy happy, and I need to make up a pitcher of this myself.

    I love a Jamie Oliver recipe for lamb shanks roasted in foil packets with a lot of rosemary and an herb butter. That is another big hit with dinner guests (but not when you are having a heat wave in the Pacific NW!).

    http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/lamb-recipes/incredible-baked-lamb-shanks

  31. Linda

    Hi from a very wet South West Wales in the UK. No rain for two months????? In Seattle???? Everything in my garden is soggy and sulking, apart from peversely, the rocket (arugula).
    I love rosemary, so will come back to this post to see all the other comments on how to use it.
    Great idea, looking forward to the rest of the topics.

  32. Arabella

    I am Italian and my favorite herbs are rosemary and sage. I love to “fry” fresh sage leaves in butter. It takes very little time to get them crisp. They are delicious as is or on pasta with their butter. ciao.

  33. sweetpea

    I might put rosemary on just about anything, roasted potato being way up there. Rosemary honey! I am going to keep two colonies of bees next year, maybe I could get them to visit a rosemary patch and harvest rosemary honey to make rosemary honey lemonade!

  34. Nina

    I make a creamy carrot soup with fresh rosemary. I also like it in split pea soup. Rosemary is a wonderful addition to a turkey meatloaf that I make, too, and pizza crust and focaccia bread — all GF, of course! A sweet rosemary memory is when exploring an abandoned house in the woods of my old neighborhood I found all the gardens filled with rosemary — beautiful!

  35. gluten-freek

    I use the woody rosemary stalks as skewers for prawns (or langoustine). Sprinkle the with olive oil and crushed garlic, then grill or bbq.

  36. Kristina

    Rosemary cornmeal scones, from a cookbook called Brunch, 100 Recipes from Five Points Restaurant. They are to die for.

  37. Nicola

    On a hot night in Sicily a few years ago I was served potatoes, thickly chipped and fried until soft inside, crunchy out, then immediately thrown onto a thick bed of rosemary with a sprinkle of sea salt. The heat of the potatoes brought out the oil in the rosemary and I remember the scent and flavour, cutting through the thickness of the evening air. So simple.

  38. caroline

    Last weekend I made the most delicious focaccia using rosemary– I folded it into the dough along with roughly chopped roasted garlic and fresh corn kernels. It wasn’t gluten-free, but I’m sure you could make your own version of it.

    One thing I love to do with rosemary sprigs is use them to hold together grilled vegetable towers, as seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolinejangelo/3759917509/

  39. Vincci

    No joke — rosemary is my FAVOURITE herb. I actually like throwing a little sprig in the pot to flavour the oil when I make popcorn. Then I sprinkle a little salt and pepper over it. Delicious!

  40. Helene

    I’m on Vancouver Island and never seen it that hot. You’re right that the Midwest people are probably making fun of us.

    My favorite way of using rosemary is that I brush potatoes with olive oil, then put them on a baking sheet and flavor them with sea salt and rosemary. Those roasted potatoes are so good. Great picture :)

  41. Erin Swing

    I just adore the aroma of rosemary. I find it therapeutic. I have an enormous rosemary bush — 6 feet wide. It is a freak of nature here in Cincinnati.

    During the summer, I trim the rosemary and put it in a vase. Of course it lends itself for any roasts since it can withstand the heat. But remember oil/fat can extract most of its lovely flavors: rosemary olive oil?

    Another thought I had was to put rosemary in gelato or ice cream to really chill those piny flavors and extract it w/ fat/oil. It could definitely be a flavor experiment that holds promise.

  42. mamatimes3

    Rosemary chopped fine in sugar cookies or shortbread.

    Or just rubbed behind the ears so you can smell it all day.

  43. Calvine

    There is a restaurant in Charlottesville, VA, Ventana, that serves a Rosemary Grapefruit Martini that is to die for. I’d never thought of putting rosemary in a cocktail before, especially not a refreshing cocktail, but the flavors are absolutely wonderful together.

    I think the easiest way to make it would be to make some sort of gin (or liquor of your liking) and somehow get the rosemary in there — maybe chopping and letting it soak, then straining? And probably the same for the grapefruit. Anyway, that is my most memorable rosemary “dish.” :)

  44. Anonymous

    rosemary pound cake with stewed apples. do not be afraid it is so good. , nigellas baking book has a good recipe

  45. mrswatson

    My favorite herb recipe uses basil. My mom called it creamy spoleto spaghetti. I call it bell pepper basil pasta. I remember anytime my mom asked me what I wanted for dinner, this was my choice.

    1/4 cup margarine or butter
    2 bell peppers chopped
    2 Tb. dried basil or fresh to taste
    1 Tb. Parsley (dried)
    salt to taste (roughly 2 tsp)
    1 Tb. flour or gluten free flour mix/cornstarch (add a dash of xantham gum for gluten free flour)
    1 cup milk
    Cooked chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
    Pasta or gluten free pasta of choice *or* steamed spaghetti squash

    Melt the butter in a saute pan, add the peppers. Saute until soft, then add the herbs and salt. Stir in the flour or other thickener, then add the milk. When the mix begins to thicken, add the cooked chicken and heat through.

    Serve over the pasta or spaghetti squash.

  46. Alta

    Wow, sounds like Seattle is feeling a bit of what we here in Dallas feel every summer. It’s actually been raining a lot lately, but it usually gets hot (100 degrees plus) and relatively dry around this time of year. Rosemary loves that hot and dry, it survives when the other veggies wilt.
    I love rosemary chopped and rubbed into the skin of a whole chicken, along with some salt, and roasted. Or you could grill, since it’s so hot. Also love it made into skewers for grilled shrimp. I’m contemplating chocolate rosemary ice cream, but haven’t tried making that yet. I’ll wish you some cool rains!

  47. Lovie

    I live in east Tennessee and I think we got your summer and you got ours. Personally, I’m lovin my Washington summer but can understand why you don’t like mine especially as I understand most of y’all don’t have air conditioning. That’s the only thing that makes a southern summer even remotely tolerable.

    As for Rosemary; how ’bout just Rosemary butter? Can’t get any better than that on roasted corn on the cob. And i also like to mince it with a little coarse salt and garlic before stirring it into an olive tapenade.
    Lovie

  48. Heidi

    This is random and not at all related to herbs but I want to reach through the internet and kiss you because my stinky sweaty almost 1 year old refuses to sleep when its anything above about 65. When she doesn’t sleep…nobody sleeps!

    I feel your pain!

  49. LittleRedAmes

    Our favorite marinade for pork chops on the grill: lemon juice, EVOO, gf soy sauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper and rosemary. It is delish!

  50. Christie's Corner

    I love rosemary. I put it in a goat cheese and dried fruit spread, tuck it under the skin with lemon when I cook chicken, and use it liberally with roasted potatoes. My husband is lukewarm on the herb, which can be frustrating.

    Fortunately, we both love cilantro…

  51. GREEN KEY

    Here in the northeast, at the end of July (right now), I cut my basil plants back pretty hard, making sure to leave enough for continued growth. I pick off the leaves, wash, spin, and place in the food processor with a little olive oil, and process to a fine pulp. I put about 1/4 — 1/3 cup of this basil/olive mixture in a ziplock (zippered are best!) sandwich bag. Close the bag. Put it on a flat surface and work the basil to fill the bag — it should be about 1/4″ thick, and flat. Make some room in the freezer to lay the bag down flat. Once it’s frozen, it can stand on end. Whenever you need basil for cooking just break a piece off. You’ll never use dried basil again!

  52. rick @ à la mode

    i found your blog by way of summer fest. i have to say that your story is truly touching and inspiring. and as far as the heat, omg. i was in portland last weekend and boy it was toasty! you guys have it worse out there around seattle, right? stay cool!

    here’s my post for summer fest (herbs): yakitori & shiso

    http://www.alamodejournals.com/index.php/2009/07/fo-shiso/

    thanks shauna!

  53. Allison McClendon

    When our boy was between six months and 18 months there was a whole lotta not sleeping going on. Between the teething, which he suffered greatly from, and the excitement of learning how to crawl, stand, walk and climb (not to mention all the other amazing fine motor skill stuff that goes on during that period) his little brain was switched into high gear all the time, including when the sun was down. My sister likened it to being in love–no matter what’s going on, day and night, we are thinking about that person. Even in the middle of night, if we woke slightly, *bing* we think of them! Nights are like that for little people. They wake, for whatever reason, and decide that’s a fine time to practice sitting up, standing, etc, or whatever their latest obsession du jour happens to be. It’s a wonder they sleep at all, but thankfully they do, sometimes even for enough time for us to get some sleep too! ;-)

  54. Terry B, Blue Kitchen

    I have to say, I think rosemary is my favorite herb of all of them. Summer Fest is a great idea! Thanks to all of you for putting this together. Here’s my entry: These Rosemary Sage Chops use not one, but two fresh herbs for a quick, flavorful, tomato-free Italian main course.

  55. Petite Dancer

    Not necessarily an herb, but today I tried a recipe that used the green feather-tops from carrots in soup.

    Delicious.

    It’s more like parsley than anything and if you have bought carrots with green-tops and feel bad about wasting all that green stuff, it is definitely worth experimenting with.

  56. Petite Kosher Gluten Free Gal

    I am a fan of using rosemary. I make thyme and rosemary roasted red potatoes. I put rosemary on chicken and fish. My mom grows fresh thyme and rosemary which is the best. But I also use dried rosemary when fresh isn’t available. MMM…rosemary.

    By the way I have just started a blog at petitekosherglutenfreegal.blogspot.com

    I love your site and will add it as a link on my blog.