Rosemary

Rosemary ~ Healing Herbs

Looking like a small sprig from an evergreen tree the wonderful smell and assertively pine-like fragrance and pungent flavor of of this herb goes a long way to flavor to chicken, lamb, pork, salmon and tuna dishes as well as many soups and sauces.

As an evergreen, this healing herb is available throughout the year.

It grows on a small evergreen shrub belonging to the Labiatae family that is related to mint.

The leaves look like flat pine-tree needles, deep green in color on top while silver-white on their underside.

Its memorable flavor and unique health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen.

Health Benefits

The wonderful smell of this healing herb is often associated with great food and good times.

But, be assured, 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.

It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks.

In addition, this herb 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 this fragrant herb, congratulate yourself for a wise as well as delicious choice.

Description

It's not surprising that the taste and aroma of this herb, historically used for strengthening the memory, is unforgettable.

It has a unique pine-like fragrant flavor that is balanced by a rich pungency, a combination that evokes both the forest and the sea.

History

Although it's native to the Mediterranean, it now grows throughout much of the temperate regions in Europe and America.

It's been a prized seasoning and natural medicine for centuries.

Part of this healing herbs' popularity came from the widespread belief that rosemary stimulated and strengthened the memory, a quality for which it is still traditionally used.

In ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams, and mourners would also throw the fragrant herb into the grave of the deceased as a symbol of remembrance.

In merry olde England, rosemary's ability to fortify the memory transformed it into a symbol of fidelity and it played an important role in the costumes, decorations and gifts used at weddings.

Rosemary oil was first extracted in the 14th century, after which it was used to make Queen of Hungary water, a very popular cosmetic used at that time.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, it became popular as a digestive aid in apothecaries.

Recently, as modern research focuses on the beneficial active components, our appreciation for this herb's therapeutic, as well as culinary value, has been renewed.

How to Select and Store

Whenever possible, choose the fresh variety over the dried form since it's far and away superior in flavor.

The sprigs should look vibrantly fresh and should be deep sage green in color, and free from yellow or dark spots.

Even through dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets, explore the local spice stores in your area.

Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansion selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness to those offered in regular markets.

Just like with other dried herbs, when purchasing this particular herb dried, try to select organically grown herbs since this will give you more assurance that the herbs contain no pesticide residues and have not been irradiated (among other potential adverse effects, irradiation may lead to a significant decrease in its carotenoid content.)

Fresh, it should be stored in the refrigerator either in the original packaging or wrapped in a slightly moist paper towel.

You can also place the sprigs in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews.

Dried, it 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:

Quickly rinse under cool running water and pat dry.

Most recipes call for the 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.

Quick Serving Ideas:

Add fresh to omelets and frittatas.

It's a wonderful herb for seasoning chicken and lamb dishes.

Add to tomato sauces and soups.

Even better than butter, purée fresh leaves with olive oil and use as a dipping sauce for bread.

Tea made from a thumb-sized piece has been known to lift spirits in people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and hangovers.

Infuse warm red wine with rosemary, cinnamon, and cloves to soothe winter colds.

Safety

Rosemary is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of goitrogens, oxalates, or purines.

Nutritional Profile

This healing herb is a good source of the minerals iron and calcium, as well as dietary fiber.

The fresh variety has 25% more manganese (which is somehow lost in the process of drying).

Growing it: This hardy perennial loves basking in sunshine.

Now, if you're wondering what to have for dinner this evening, might we suggest...

Pan-Fried Tenderloin Steak Recipe with Rosemary


Pan-fried tenderloin steak is juicy and flavorful, with a crisp crust.

Total Hands-On Time: 40 min

Preparation Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Yield: 4 servings

Use just salt, pepper, rosemary and lemon to season these pan-fried tenderloin steaks, to keep the flavor of the meat prominent.

In this recipe we use 7 to 8 ounce tenderloins, and flatten them to a thickness of 1-3/4 of an inch thick.

You can use rib-eyes or New Yorks, even top sirloin, just keep the thickness about the same.

Ingredients:

• Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 4 (8-ounce) tenderloin, rib-eye, New York, or top sirloin steaks cut and pressed to 1-3/4-inch thick

• 1 cup olive oil

• 3 fresh rosemary branches

• Quartered lemons, for serving (optional)

Preparation;

1. Generously salt and pepper the steaks, adjusting the seasoning to taste.

Allow the steaks to reach room temperature.

2. Set a 10-inch to 12-inch sauté pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil to about half an inch in depth.

3. Add the rosemary branches to the oil as it heats to just below the point of smoking.

If the rosemary begins to burn, remove it from the pan.

4. Add the steaks and cook the presentation side (the tops) for about 8 minutes to allow a crust to form.

5. Flip and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes.

Check for temperature either by meat thermometer, or by feel: you’ll want 125 degrees F for medium-rare.

6. Remove from pan, and cover with foil for 10 minutes.

7. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Serve immediately.

And voila.

This is an excellent recipe that we're sure you and your family will love.

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