Newest Review: ... and in about two months they should have their own root system and can be replanted. USING ROSEMARY Rosemary dries out very easily ... more
Member Name: Ninski1
Advantages: Very versatile, easy to grow and maintain
Disadvantages: None really
I moved house last year and was lucky to have been left a potted rosemary shrub, it is fairly large and is kept by the kitchen door so the scent greets me often throughout the day. Rosemary can grow quite large and it retains attractiveness for many years, it can be pruned into formal shapes and low hedges and has been used for topiary. It is easily grown in pots. The groundcover cultivars spread widely, with a dense and durable texture.
Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name "rosemary" derives from the Latin for "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea"[ because in many locations it needs no water other than the humidity carried by the sea breeze to live.
Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens and has many culinary and medical uses. The plant is said to improve the memory. The leaves are used to flavor various foods, like stuffings and roast meats. Rosemary contains the antioxidants carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, and other bioactive compounds including camphor, caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, rosmaridiphenol, and rosmanol.
Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves similar to pine needles. The leaves are used as a flavouring in foods like stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. It can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods. Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in). The leaves are evergreen, 2-4 cm (0.8-1.6 in) long and 2-5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense short woolly hair. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue.
According to legend, it was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, born of Ouranos's semen. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the 'Rose of Mary', its so romantic.
The leaves, both fresh and dried, are used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. They have a bitter, astringent taste and are highly aromatic, which complements a wide variety of foods.
As a vegetarian I cannot comment on how well rosemary goes with meat, but many of my friends and family rave about how well it compliment roast lamb. I use rosemary in many of my dishes, along with the thyme that I grow in my herb garden I find it a very useful and aromatic herb indeed.
One of the easiest things to do with rosemary is chuck some in with roast potatoes or add in a few sprigs when making a veggie sausage casserole, the herb is quite strong smelling so goes a long way. You can also use long sprigs as skewers and add peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions and mushrooms and make a veggie kebab to put under the grill.
My favourite dish at the moment using rosemary is chickpea soup. To make you will need a tin of chickpeas (or soak your own), tinned or fresh tomatoes, about a pint of veggie stock, an onion, some garlic, fresh rosemary and a bit of oil for frying. To prepare the soup you need to gently sweat off the chopped onion and garlic in a bit of rapeseed oil with a bit of salt and pepper (you could add cayenne if you want to spice it up a bit), then add in the chickpeas, but do not burn them and finally add the rosemary, whilst waiting, you whizz up some veggie stock with the tomatoes to form a liquid then add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and let it simmer away for around 30 minutes so all the flavours have time to develop. Serve with freshly baked bread, yummy on a cold autumn day, or during a British summer. This will serve around 3-4 people.
Summary: Beautiful flowering shrub that has many culinary uses