Looking like a small sprig from an evergreen tree the wonderful smell and assertively pine-like fragrance and pungent flavor of rosemary goes a long way to flavor to chicken, lamb, pork, salmon and tuna dishes as well as many soups and sauces.
As an evergreen, rosemary is available throughout the year.
Rosemary grows on a small evergreen shrub belonging to the Labiatae family that is related to mint.
It's leaves look like flat pine-tree needles, deep green in color on top while silver-white on their underside.
It's memorable flavor and unique health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen.
The wonderful smell of rosemary-spice is often associated with good food and great times.
But it could just as easily be associated with good health.
Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion.
Rosemary-spice also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks.
In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.
So, the next time you enhance the flavor of some special dish with rosemary-spice, congratulate yourself for a wise, as well as delicious choice.
A Bit of History
Although rosemary is native to the Mediterranean, it now grows throughout much of the temperate regions in Europe and America.
Rosemary has been a prized seasoning and natural medicine for millennia.
Part of rosemary's popularity came from the widespread belief that rosemary-spice stimulated and strengthened the memory, a quality for which it is still traditionally used.
How to Choose and Store
Whenever possible, choose fresh rosemary over the dried form of the herb since it is far superior in flavor.
The springs of fresh rosemary should look vibrantly fresh and should be deep sage green in color, and free from yellow or dark spots.
Fresh rosemary should be stored in the refrigerator either in its original packaging or wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel.
You can also place the rosemary sprigs in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews.
Dried rosemary should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
Tips for preparing rosemary:
Quickly rinse rosemary under cool running water and pat dry.
Most recipes call for rosemary leaves, which can be easily removed from the stem.
Alternatively, you can add the whole sprig to season soups, stews and meat dishes, then simply remove it before serving.
A few quick serving ideas:
Add fresh rosemary to omelets and frittatas.
Rosemary is a wonderful herb for seasoning chicken and lamb dishes.
Add rosemary to tomato sauces and soups.
Even better than butter, purée fresh rosemary leaves with olive oil and use as a dipping sauce for bread.
Rosemary is a good source of the minerals iron and calcium, as well as dietary fiber.
Fresh has 25% more manganese (which is somehow lost in the process of drying) and a 40% less calcium and iron, probably due to the higher water content.
If you don't know what to have for dinner tonight ...
Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary
Nothing complements the flavor of lamb better than rosemary.
And our quick broil method makes this dish very fast and easy to prepare.
Grass fed lamb is a great source of protein on which the structure of the human body depends.
It's also a good source of zinc to help boost immune function and B vitamins for energy production.
Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes
12 lamb chops
6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary,
3 med. cloves garlic pressed,
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Press garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out its hidden health benefits.
Mix together lemon juice, rosemary, pressed garlic, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Rub lamb chops with mixture.
Set aside on plate.
Preheat broiler on high heat, and place a stainless steel or cast iron skillet large enough to hold the lamb chops under the heat for about 10 minutes to get very hot (about 5-7 inches from the heat source).
Be sure that the handle is also metal.
Once pan is hot, place lamb chops in pan, and return to broiler for about 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness of lamb.
Lamb is cooked quickly as it is cooking on both sides at the same time.
This is our quick broil cooking method.
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