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What is Rosemary Herb?

rosemary herb


Rosemary is an herb from a small evergreen shrub. Pine-like in appearance and flavor, with an intense green needle.

What does rosemary taste like?

A bittersweet, nutty flavor of lemon, wood, and pepper with a powerful pungency of pine and citrus. 

Where does rosemary come from?

Native to the Mediterranean rosemary or rosmarinus officinalis is a member of the mint family. The name translates to ‘dew of the sea’ as it is generally found growing on the coastline. 

Rosemary Uses

Rosemary seasoning is popular in Italian and Mediterranean cooking and makes up a component of bouquet garni used to flavor soups, stews and stocks. 

The herb is versatile in its use for recipes including BBQs, vinaigrettes, soups, sauces, pasta, stews, marinades, and stuffings. Although predominantly paired with savory dishes, rosemary’s citrus notes lend well to sweet dishes such as lemon and rosemary shortbread. 

Rosemary can also be used as a natural skewer for grilling and imparts its fragrance into meat, fish, or vegetables whilst cooking. Rosemary can be used fresh but the flavor is intense which can be mellowed with cooking. 

Rosemary Substitutes

  • Thyme: equally popular in its use within Mediterranean cooking many cooked dishes will suit thyme as a substitution.
  • Sage: replicating rosemary’s citrus and earthy flavor, sage is a suitable substitute when cooking with meat or sauces.
  • Marjoram: sweet notes of pine and citrus, marjoram pairs with dishes that require a small amount of fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Compliments and Pairings

Rosemary suits roasting and as such pairs well with steak, lamb, poultry, red meat, lemon, fruit, mushroom, potato, spinach, thyme, basil, vegetables, mint, thyme, basil cheese, and tomatoes.

Rosemary Expiration and Storage 

  • Fresh: place in a damp kitchen cloth and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Dried: more subtle in flavor, dried rosemary can be used when cooked into sauces and stews. When stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight the herb will stay fresh for up to 3 years.
  • Frozen: freeze rosemary at its peak and use when needed for sauces or bouquet garni.

Fun Facts About Rosemary

  • In Ancient Greece, students would wear a sprig of rosemary while taking tests as they believed it helped memory.
  • Rosemary’s link to memory is also found in its universal use for remembrance, particularly for weddings and funerals.

Popular Rosemary Recipes

  • Honey and rosemary pancakes
  • Roast leg of lamb with rosemary potatoes
  • Focaccia
  • Rosemary-skewered grilled prawns
  • Lemon and rosemary roasted chicken
  • Rosemary crackers
  • Villarejo rosemary cheese
  • Roasted Mediterranean vegetables 

Chef Max

Michelin trained professional chef with a passion for recipe writing and all things food. I have worked for over five years at top restaurants across the UK and have gained an ability to create any recipe you desire, from comfort food recipes to fine dining recipes. My experience in food writing includes a placement at Delicious Magazine which involved feature writing, recipe testing, article research, and content creation.

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