Monday, September 21, 2009

Herb Foraging - Rosemary

I feel like I won the lottery. The herb lottery at least. You see, I hate dried herbs and I try not to use them. They always make food taste like you opened up an old teabag and dumped its contents into a dish. I like the stronger, grassier, sometimes more medicinal flavors of the fresh versions a lot better. Fresh herbs can be expensive to buy at the grocery store, so growing your own is definitely your best option. You could also forage for fresh herbs growing wild. If you do this, just make sure that you aren't stealing from someone's property and that the plants haven't been sprayed with poisons. Remember, I don't have a yard. I don't even have a balcony or a terrace off of my condo where I could put out some pots. One of my upcoming projects is to make a container herb garden at my parents' house on their terrace, but I haven't done it yet. But look what I found! One of my neighbors has a veritable wilderness of rosemary growing in his backyard and I discovered it while visiting one day. The man, an older bachelor, had no idea it was even there or that it was edible, and not just edible, but pretty much heavenly. He gave me full permission to traipse through his yard whenever I want and pluck his rosemary 'til my heart's content. Now that is a good neighbor. I just have to give him some of whatever I make with it and of course I'm more than happy to share my culinary creations. Being a bachelor who can't cook many things, he's even thrilled to eat my disasters.

I haven't experienced any rosemary disasters. I just love this herb. My favorite use for it involves roasts. Any kind of a roast anything is pretty much delicious with rosemary. Last night I made a roasted chicken with rosemary and lemons. I've used it for pork tenderloin, beef and I especially love rosemary roasted potatoes. I always add a few sprigs to my tomato based pasta sauces. You should too. I've also used it for scented sachets, holiday decoration and I've hung bunches of it in my closet to repel moths without harsh, stinky chemicals. I adore the smell of rosemary and if I have a cold I like to boil it and inhale the steam. It's like a milder version of eucalyptus.

Rosemary is rumored to have several health benefits which you can read about here.

This site provides a detailed article about growing rosemary from a cutting or a small plant. Rosemary is very well suited for growing here in our climate.

1 comment:

  1. Amen regarding the roasts! And will definitely have to try the moth repellent idea.