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

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23 Responses

  1. says:

    I highly recommend Rosemary Lemonade. I don’t have the recipe handy, but you can find it in the Herbfarm Cookbook. You basically boil some sugar water, take off the heat, then add a bunch of rosemary and cover for about 20 minutes. Then add fresh squeezed lemon juice and chill. All set. May sound odd, but it is wonderfully woodsy and very good. If you have Meyer Lemons – even better.

  2. says:

    Rosemary is also good in Foccia and marinara sauce.

  3. On the growing front, we have two kinds of rosemary in our garden. There is the regular bush variety, but more recently I have come across ‘prone’ rosemary. It grows sideways rather than up and drapes fantastically over the brick walls of our herb garden. It still gets the woody stems of regular rosemary so it’s not a ‘soft’ droopy plant, but if you have a raised garden bed you’d like a cascade of blue flowers over, I can highly recommend it! It grows well from cuttings too, and can be used in cooking just the same.

  4. says:

    A chicken and rosemary risotto is a nice combination. Just do your basic risotto with onion, garlic, stock and rice, and add the chicken and a a couple of tablespoons chopped garlic half way through.

  5. Lurker/looky loo, coming out from hiding to say: Love adding a bit of rosemary to biscuit or bread dough – I just sprinkle in a small handful of the needle/leaves to the batch, it’s so pungent, a little goes a long way! Also, I like to roast chicken breasts on a bed of rosemary & lemon quarters or if roasting a whole chicken, stuffing it w/the rosemary; mmmm…I’m getting hungry! p.s. Love your advent activities! :>)

  6. Rosemary is beautiful with baby potatoes, as in chop it up and boil it in the water with the potatoes, drain and serve ^_^

  7. Fire up your grill for garlic-roasted potatoes on rosemary skewers!
    Strip the leaves from rosemary branches (you use those for skewers*) and chop about 2Tbs. Use those smallish red or white new potatoes (about a pound for 4-6 people), leave whole or cut in half and toss in a bowl with 2Tbs olive oil, 1tsp minced garlic, the rosemary and salt/pepper to taste. Thread the potatoes onto the skewers and grill over medium heat until skins brown, 25-30 min or so. They’re great just like that or if you are adventurous you can toss them with a bit of balsamic vinegar after they’re pulled off the skewers.

    *note- We can’t seem to grow sturdy enough rosemary, so I use the regular wood skewers from the market, soaked in water for a while so they don’t burn. They work fine.

  8. says:

    Here’s a similar but slightly simpler recipe: Use yams, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces. Toss them with olive oil, whole garlic cloves, rosemary sprigs, salt and pepper. Put them in a single layer on a baking tray (with sides) and bake at 375 or 400 F until soft enough to eat (about 30-40 minutes). Stir them around occaisionally if you want to prevent brown roasted bits, or just let them be. The rosemary flavors the olive oil and seeps into the yams and garlic. It’s delicious! And easy. I like to eat both yams and garlic; my boyfriend just eats the yams.

  9. I like to have rosemary in my garden (paltry that it is) because it is a great organic way to control pests. In Arizona, we have TONS of mosquitoes, and they do not like rosemary. Neither do a bunch of other little critters. Rosemary and marigolds are great, environmentally friendly pest control options.

  10. Rosemary tea is delightful and supposedly good for your memory – just put some fresh sprigs in a cup/pot and pour hot water over them. Nice when not too strong.

  11. Have a marvellously huge rosemary bush/shrub/tree in my backyard. Love it in all sorts of things but above all in a roast leg of lamb cutting pockets in the meat and stuffing them with rosemary leaves. Sometimes I do half and half – half the pockets with garlic and harlf with rosemary. I believe Italian cooks always have a bush growing at the back door.

  12. Rosemary is delightful in a hearty bread.

  13. I agree with Amanda, I like to use it in focaccia. Just chop it quite fine and mix in the dough.Make a yeast dough: 0.5 litre lukewarm water, 50 g fresh baker’s yeast, tbsp of sugar, 1-2 tsp of salt, 1/3 cup of oil – less will do – plain flour. Raise in a bowl, knead and form 2 square, flat breads, raise again, prick with your finger here and there, brush with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt flakes & rosemary needles on top, bake). Eat fresh, great with dips.

  14. Rosemary and Pecorino Angel Hair Pasta is great and it’s as simple as it sounds. Don’t scoff until you try it. Prepare your angel hair and toss with olive oil, about a half cup of grated cheese, and a heaping spoonful of chopped, fresh rosemary. It’s delectable, cheap, and kids love it. Also, you should add sliced fresh lemon to your potato recipe. It’s much better with the lemon. Of course, use the same fixing – lemon and rosemary – on chicken and that’s great too!

  15. My hubby makes a yummy marinade with olive oil, rosemary, paprika, poppy seeds,celery salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. We put it on chicken and grill and it’s FAB. Would work well also with pork, methinks.

  16. says:

    Made a rosemary cornbread recipe last week for Thanksgiving that I got from Martha Stewart’s website. Yum…

  17. says:

    The rosemary and potato pizza is absolutely delish!
    I like pretty much any combination of rosemary and potatoes.

    Mum used to make a lovely lamp chops rosemary casserole dish – i just had the gravy with mashed potato. MMM… inspired me to go find the recipes for these things.

  18. Similar to yours, but roasted potatoes, parsnips, swede and turnip, tossed in olive oil and lost of rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves (in the skin) tossed in for good measure. I always do my roast vegies this way.
    I also make a mean pizza using rosemary – sliced parboiled potato, red onion, rosemary and a little cheese on top of a pita spread with a little pizza sauce. Put in oven for 10 mins, and it’s just delish!

  19. says:

    best ever roast vegies ever. medium roasting tray, fill with desire potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini,and whole garlic scattered but not peeled. sprinkle over 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, salt & pepper,mild paprika, masterfoods roast chicken seasoning,whole cummin seeds and a good slurp of good extra virgin olive oil and toss. cook in pre-heated oven 230C for about 30 mins (depending on the size of your vegies). nice to serve with any sort of meat or on their own with a salad and some tsatziki (home made of course)chop cucumber and fresh mint and garlic and add s&p and yoghurt. easy & yum

  20. Not a recipe, but standard rosemary (the kind that stands up, rather than the kind that droops and crawls) makes beautiful Christmas wreaths.

  21. I made the union square bar nut recipe from a nigela lawson book, but you can see it online here (they are fab, btw):

  22. says:

    Rosemary is fantatic on a farmhouse ommlette.
    Sprinkle finely chopped rosemary and seasalt over your ommlette that contains whatever goodies you have at hand – potato, tomato, mushrooms, capsicum and don’t forget the cheese.

  23. says:

    Herb-Marinated Chicken Breasts
    (I’ve tried many versions of this recipe and this one is, by far, the best.)

    -1/4 cup olive oil
    -1/4 c white wine (I’ve also used white wine vinegar, and it’s very good)
    -1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
    -1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
    -1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
    -1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
    -1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)
    6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

    In a bowl combine oil, wine, herbs, salt and pepper; mix well.

    Place chicken in resealable food storage plastic bag. Pour oil mixture over chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat.

    Refrigerate at least two hours to marinate.

    Grill (use marinade to brush over chicken), broil, or cook chicken in skillet on stovetop to your liking.