Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean but is well suited to the British climate and is commonly used in British cooking adding a zing to roast meats and vegetables. Rosemary is incredibly versatile and works particularly well when used in conjunction with tomatoes and garlic. It is one of the most widely used herbs in the UK and is a familiar ingredient in all sorts of dishes. Rosemary can be used fresh or dried for cooking, but it has more flavour when used freshly picked from the garden (take care to wash it thoroughly) and eaten within just a couple of hours.
Rosemary and Meat
Rosemary enhances the flavour of many types of meat, including lamb, pork, chicken and rabbit. Simply place a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or sprinkle dried rosemary on top of the meat before roasting. Lamb can be flavoured by inserting chopped rosemary into small holes pierced into its skin. Rosemary can also be chopped and added to a marinade for Mediterranean-style meat and fish dishes. It also makes a delicious ingredient in stuffing, simply strip the leaves from the stem and finely chop them. Add them to your favourite stuffing mix or make your own.
Rosemary and Vegetables
A few sprigs of rosemary placed in the roasting dish with a medley of vegetables (such as carrot, swede, parsnip and beetroot) and garlic will really boost their flavours. It gives a superb flavour when finely chopped and added to “bubble and squeak” (potatoes and cabbage) and can be used to flavour gravy.
Rosemary goes well with most potato dishes, including roasted and mashed potatoes, and the Spanish tapas dish “patatas bravas”. Why not try adding rosemary and garlic to baked beans and serve them with toast or a baked potato?
Rosemary works particularly well with garlic and tomatoes and is traditionally used in Italian dishes to flavour pasta sauces, meats, fish and pizzas. Finely chop the leaves and add them to pasta dishes and tomato sauces.
Rosemary and Barbeques
Rosemary is a versatile herb when barbequing food. You can ad a delicious homely scent to the smoke by throwing a few fresh sprigs of rosemary over the barbecue coals. The hardwood stems also make excellent barbecue skewers once they have been stripped. Simply thread them through meat and vegetables and place them over the barbecue. You’ll have the added benefit of the stems imparting a subtle rosemary flavour to your food.
Rosemary and Salads
Rosemary is not a common ingredient in salads, however it is often used to flavour salad dressings. Simply add a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary to a bottle of vinegar or olive oil and leave it for a week to let the flavour develop and use as an ingredient in a vinaigrette. Rosemary is a fantastic herb for cooking and works well with a variety of vegetables, meats and fish dishes. It is especially good when added to roast meats and vegetables, and also does well with Italian dishes such as pizza and tomato sauces.