It started long ago. In my early days of cooking, a recipe called for this aromatic herb that I had never tasted before. I was instantly hooked. Thanks to a brilliant idea by my mother-in-law, Mary, I even clip sprigs from bumper crops and stick them in vases throughout the house. I love the fresh scent in a bright, clean bathroom or coming from a mason jar vase next to our bed. I just love rosemary.
Our recent trip to North Carolina woke my addiction to this herb. One swig of the homemade rosemary peach lemonade at the Tupelo Honey Cafe sent my senses into overdrive. I don't know what it is, but this beverage might be the single best thing that I've ever tasted. I plan to perfect my own version this weekend and will report back, and once my personal prohibition is over, I plan to dress it up a bit more (if you get my drift.) It will be the end-all, be-all summer drink of choice.
In the meantime, I thought I'd share my favorite ways to use rosemary. Here goes:
Best Grilled Meat Marinade Ever
I watched a chef in a upscale gourmet shop whip up a version of this about 15 years ago. I tweaked it and it's been our go-to marinade for 15 years. (Unless I'm baking, I just eyeball measurements, so these are approximate.)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 sprigs rosemary, de-stemmed and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 thinly sliced green onions
a hefty squirt of Gourmet Garden's chili pepper (keep it in the freezer)
salt & pepper
Cover chicken, pork tenderloin or flank steak (hmm, maybe shrimp?) and leave it sit for 6 hours to overnight and then grill meat like usual. It will rock your socks.
Roasted Gorgonzola Potatoes
A couple pounds of small potatoes - your favorite kind
3-4 sprigs of rosemary, cut in half
6 ozs. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
salt & pepper
Place taters and rosemary in baking dish and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to coat, and salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, it depends on size of potatoes. When potatoes are knife tender, give them a slight smash with the back of a spoon. Switch oven to broil, toss in cheese and return to oven until potato edges look crispy and golden (about 5 minutes.) You won't eat the rosemary, but it will have left its delicious stamp on the crunchy, cheesy potatoes.
Speaking of potatoes, I've often said it's the food I'd choose to take if stranded on a deserted island. That's another post all together!
Can't wait to taste what this little gem delivers...