Rosemary is small evergreen plant of the mint family, native to the dry, rocky areas of the Mediterranean coast.
Rosemary’s name derives from Latin words meaning “dew of the sea.” Used in cooking since the time of the early Greeks and Romans, rosemary also symbolized love and remembrance. Rosemary was gifted to the queen of England in the 14th century by a Dutch countess, and was brought to North America by early European settlers.
Along with being a rich source of antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds, rosemary is a cognitive stimulant, aiding with focus and memory. Rosemary is often used for digestion problems such as heartburn, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite.
Wrap rosemary sprigs in a damp paper towel, seal in a plastic bag or jar, and keep in refrigerator crisper for up to 3 weeks.
Rosemary is well suited to seasoning simple, hearty soups and stews. Its flavor complements pork, game, beef and lamb. It also goes well with the earthy flavors of grains, mushrooms, and root vegetables.
If not using a whole sprig of rosemary, separate leaves from stem and chop finely to use. 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary substitutes for 1 teaspoon dried.