Posts Tagged ‘Cooking with herbs’

There is nothing comparable to the fragrant aroma of fresh rosemary! It is one of the few plants that we can grow here in the Sierra Foothills without worry.

"Dew of the Sea"

So when you get up in the morning, or come home in the evening you are certain to find that the deer or rabbits have not laid these plants bare! These plants are so hardy that up here in the Foothills that they can suffer the coldest temperatures and the weight of the snow!

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is a woody perennial that is a native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family believe it or not! Its Latin name, Rosmarinus, translates to “Dew of the Sea,” because it is such a hardy plant it can actually feed off the humidity in the air. When it flowers they will be either blue, white or a very pale pink.

Can't you just smell the fragrance?

In cooking, the leaves can be used to flavor foods such as stuffing, roast lamb, chicken and turkey. One of my favorite marinades for chicken is a combination of lemon and rosemary. You take 3 lemons and juice them. Add about 1/2 cup of fresh rosemary leaves, 6 minced cloves of garlic, and about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Mix all of this up in a zip lock bag, throw in your chicken and let it sit in the marinade for about 4 hours. Grill or bake your chicken.

The other side of rosemary are its medicinal uses. Did you know that rosemary helps your memory? It is also said that it can help lower the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s. It is also loaded with antioxidants. And it has some anticarcinogenic properties. In a study on rats, it was found that rosemary over two weeks time greatly reduced mammary tumors. Maybe rosemary will one day be the cure for breast cancer!

It does have it side effects though. For some, rosemary can cause skin irritation. And it can interfere with iron absorption in the body so persons with iron deficiencies should avoid rosemary. And women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should limit the amount of rosemary they consume.

Folklore tells us that sleeping with a sprig of rosemary under the pillow at night would keep you from having nightmares and that it would also scare away witches. I think Dorothy would have liked to have known that when she took her first step down the yellow brick road! Rosemary was also used as a love charm!

Enjoy this flavorful aromatic herb not only in your kitchen, but also in your garden!

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