Rosemary (romarinus officinalis) is a woody herb that has a great affinity with lamb and is used extensively in the countries around the Mediterranean like France and Italy. I love the taste of rosemary it has a strong resinous taste, but it should always be remembered that it is easy to overdo. I particularly enjoy using rosemary in combination with garlic.
It is easy to grow in your garden providing you live in zones where the winters are reasonably mild. If you have a plant in your garden then, cutting off stems of the herb to add to your dishes becomes a breeze. The plant has a pretty blue flower that is frequently visited by bees. I’m not keen on the taste of dried rosemary, so it is nice to have fresh from the garden. Dried rosemary has its place however in for example dry meat rubs.
Culinary Uses for Rosemary.
Culinary uses include adding to marinades, an essential ingredient of Mediterranean recipes and great with roast leg of lamb. Also because of the robust nature of the taste of rosemary, it is an ideal companion with grilled and barbecued foods, were other more subtle flavors would be completely lost.
Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic Marinade.
This is enough marinade for up to 6 portions of meat or fish. Marinate the portions for up to 8 hours, but you can get away with as little as one hour. Once the fish or meat has been marinaded grill the portions until cooked.
Fresh rosemary – 2 good handfuls
8 cloves of garlic
100ml olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the rosemary sprigs in a pestle and mortar bruise slightly
Take the lemons halve and squeeze juice, then chop the lemon skin up into 1/8ths add these to the rosemary
Take the garlic cloves and crush lightly under the blade of a knife add to the mixture.
Add the olive oil and black pepper.
Place the meat or fish in a strong polythene bag add the marinade and mix well, leave in the fridge for up to 8 hours for meat, and about 1 hour for fish.
Remove meat or fish from the bag and grill or barbecue until cooked to your liking. The taste of the rosemary will shine through and the lemon will help to tenderize the meat.