Good Food Part Three – Rosemary

This afternoon we took part in Advent Activity number two. “Hot Chocolate with all the fixings”. We had whipped cream, coloured sprinkles, marshmallows and wafer biscuits as well as an accompanying thin slice of very ordinary chocolate cake that had just come out of the oven.

And boy am I glad that I decided that this one had to be an afternoon tea treat rather than a pre-bedtime treat. Sugar rushes all round. So now I am regretting it and thinking about good, healthy food again. It seems to be a pattern.

In August, The Age’s Sunday Life magazine published Rosemary Stanton’s list of “The 20 Healthiest Foods you can Eat” (The full list can be found here – thanks to Denise for searching it out in August). While I am not a food-blogger, and I don’t even pretend to be a very good cook, I am interested in healthy eating and I thought it would be useful to go through the list and write something about each item and also ask you to leave your tips, recipes and ideas in my comments. So far we have covered Avocados and Berries and the recipes in the comments have been great so thank you!

The next thing on Rosemary’s list is rosemary:

“The flavour components of herbs are often antioxidants that contribute to health and rosemary tops the list for its antioxidant content. Some of the dozens of potent compounds found in rosemary stop blood cells clumping together to form clots and so benefit the heart. Carnosol, another constituent of the herb of remembrance, is a phenolic diterpene, which has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Tip: Use fresh rosemary with barbecued meat to counteract cancer-causing substances that form when it’s char-grilled.” -R Stanton, Sunday Life

I am growing rosemary in our garden mainly because I use quite a lot of it around and under a cooking roast. There’s not much else I really use it for. Sometime soon I may plant a group of rosemary plants under the washing line to fill the drying clothes with lovely fragrant wafts and now that I see it’s number three on the list of good foods, I thought I should try and find some other rosemary recipes apart from roast.

I went through a bunch of cookbooks looking to find something simple, quick and not too heavy. While a “rosemary and bay leaf savoury custard” is probably quite amazing, this is not something I would be whipping up to be tersely rejected by a three year old, nor was the “pizza rustica with potato and rosemary” going to happen tonight… but the “roasted rosemary potatoes” got a bookmark in both Stephanie’s Cook’s Companion and Delia’s How to Cook. I didn’t really follow either recipe – but taking their inspiration, here’s what I did (and it ain’t rocket science!):

You will need:
Some potatoes cut into thick wedges (I used about 5 medium sized ones for the three of us)
A tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons of olive oil (though if I made this again I would probably use 2 tablespoons – it was a bit oily).
3 cloves of garlic in their skins but crushed slightly

Preheat oven to 220°c. Place potatoes in cold water and bring to boil on stove top. Let them boil for about 10 minutes. While they are boiling mix the rosemary and olive oil and put aside.

Drain potatoes thoroughly then return to pan and dry steam for a minute or so, tossing them so the outside flesh becomes a bit rough and fuzzy. Pour over oil and rosemary and toss potatoes to make sure they are all coated. Put potatoes into a baking tray and place in your preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning at least once. Pop the garlic in the tray after about 10 minutes. Serve with salt and pepper and sour cream if you’re feeling indulgent. Tonight we had them with grilled lamb and greens. Unfortunately we ate them all before I could take a photo. They were really good. But then so was the hot chocolate.

So, that’s my paltry offering – have you got any excellent uses for rosemary so that we can continue to stop those blood cells clumping?

Previously: Avocados and Berries