Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Senspiration: Rosemary

When considering herbs and spices, rosemary is among my favorites. The scent is pleasant yet pungent, and it's great for fall recipes. Plus, fresh rosemary sprigs look and feel like the branches of a Christmas tree, forest green and can I resist? 

According to my 100 Best Health Foods book by Judith Wills, rosemary has many benefits. As a strong antioxidant, it reduces aging effects and the risk of diseases, including cancer. It's a mental stimulant that supports memory, and it aids circulation. Moreover, rosemary has antibacterial properties and can be used to reduce symptoms of common colds and flus.

Rosemary is a wonderful ingredient for some savory, fragrant fall meals. It's great with potatoes—I add freshly chopped rosemary and olive oil to diced potatoes in a covered casserole dish and bake. Also, rosemary and bread are an amazing yet simple combination. You can bake chopped rosemary into bread. Or, instead of cheesy garlic bread, try cheesy rosemary bread—slice bread, sprinkle shredded asiago and chopped rosemary, and bake. I'll share a few more of my favorite rosemary recipes.
  • Rosemary vegetable flatbread—Rosemary is a perfect touch to a vegetable pizza. I like to start with a Flatout wrap, brush it with olive oil, and add a modest amount of pizza sauce. Then I top it with onions, bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, chopped fresh rosemary, and shredded cheese (the Quattro Formaggio blend from Trader Joes is my favorite).  

  • Stuffed acorn squash—Acorn squash are great, especially when you use them as a bowl. I first brown ground turkey, then sauté vegetables, garlic, and fresh rosemary with olive oil. I combine all the ingredients with some Italian bread crumbs, use the mixture to fill hollowed out acorn squash, and bake. I eat it straight out of the squash bowl, scooping out some delicious acorn squash with every bite.
  • Rosemary fig skewers—This savory fig recipe uses rosemary braches as skewers! Make a simple marinade with olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, a dash of salt, minced garlic, and finely chopped rosemary. Pour it over a few figs, gently slide them onto the rosemary branches, and bake.

  • Rosemary-infused extra virgin olive oil from Vom Fass—I love cooking with infused olive oils. It adds just a bit more pizazz. I always keep rosemary-infused oil on hand, and I usually use it in the recipes above.

The pungent aroma of rosemary adds to flavor—flavor itself is composed of both smell and taste. In addition to cooking with it, I appreciate the fragrance of rosemary on its own. I've recently discovered some unique combinations.

  • Rosemary & lavender moisturizing body cream by Apothocare Co.—This lotion is handcrafted by a good friend of mine here in St. Louis. Apothecare Co. is her line of artisan botanical skincare made with active natural ingredients. The combination of crisp rosemary with the floral scent of lavender is really refreshing. It gives me a sense of fresh and clean without being overpowering. 
  • Rosemary + lemon soy candle by Little Barn Apothecary—Much like lavender, citrus in this case, balances out rosemary in a really interesting way. It's an exceedingly fresh and energetic smell.

This fall, I'm looking forward to finding even more delicious recipes and enjoying the aroma of rosemary. If you know of any creative recipes or products infused with rosemary, please share!

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