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How to Grow, Store and Use Rosemary in Recipes

Rosemary is a wonderful herb which is also an evergreen. This means you can creatively choose a location to incorporate rosemary as part of your landscaping design. Examples could be by your front steps or back patio, helping to soften landscape edges, all the while giving you the benefit of easy access to your fresh herbs.
Used in many Italian easy recipes, a little rosemary can go a long way. From whole roasted chicken to a tasty leg of lamb or even roasted potatoes, it has earned a reputation of one of the favored herbs grown in many home gardens. roast chicken on plate

How to Grow Rosemary

To grow rosemary it is advised to start with a seedling. However, if you want to start with seeds, begin indoors about 7 weeks before the last frost date. The germination period is a lengthy one, nearly 3 weeks. Plant the seedlings - either your own or store bought - during the month of April outside If planting along with other rosemary plants, keep them a good 4 feet apart as these will grow with maturity.

During the germination period, rosemary requires moist soil at all times until the plants begin to show growth. At this point, water only once a week, then once the plants have fully matured, water only during very dry periods.

fresh rosemary Be patient with this wonderful aromatic herb, as it will take 5 months to reach maturity. 

However, you will find the wait is well worth it when you clip your first fresh sprig, and use it in one of your dinner recipes.

Remember, typically fresh herbs are always more flavorful and add a freshness to your dishes dried and store bought herbs just don't lend.

How to Store Rosemary

The best way to store rosemary is to either freeze it or dry it.

How to Freeze Rosemary

Simply cut the rosemary in sprigs about 3 inches in length. 

Gently wash any dirt off and pat dry.

Spread the sprigs out on some paper towels to dry thoroughly. 

When dried, place on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. 

Once frozen, transfer 2 to 3 sprigs at a time into clear freezer bags. 

Label each bag with the contents and do not forget to date the bag.

How to Dry Rosemary

If you do not have access to a freezer, or do not have the space, try drying the sprigs instead.

Gather 3-4 sprigs and tie the ends together with string. 

Then hang upside down in a dry and dark area. 

If you have a brown paper bag, use this to place over the sprigs. 

fresh rosemary

Check in 2 weeks to see if the herbs have fully dried. If not, check back in 7 more days. 

When dried, take to the kitchen and gently remove the leaves from the branches. 

Store the leaves in a dark container away from light.

Dried herbs remain freshest up to 6 months at which point they begin to lose their potency.

Using Rosemary in Drinks

a bowl of cubed potatoes and rosemary There are additional recipes for rosemary besides flavoring meat and potatoes. 

You can also use them in beverages. Here is a simple iced tea recipe:

Rosemary Tea

In the American South, peach tea is the perfect summer drink. All you have to do is brew some tea, puree some peaches with sugar, and stir everything together while the tea is still hot. A great twist on this is to add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to the mix, about a three- or four-inch sprig per quart. Steep it in the warm tea for a few minutes, then add your peach mixture, and stir. Strain to remove all the solids, and pour into tall glasses of ice.

Rosemary is a wonderful herb to have on hand. It is used in recipes for many International cuisines, it is used as part of drink mixes, and it can even contribute to your home's outdoor landscape. Start growing your rosemary today and you'll enjoy it for years to come.


Author Credit: Article was submitted by SimpleItalianCooking an Italian recipes website also featuring Italian cookware such as Italian espresso makers and rimmed pasta bowls.




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