"The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine; they have a bitter, astringent taste, which complements a wide variety of foods. (especially oily foods such as lamb and oily fish) A tisane can also be made from them. When burned they give off a distinct mustard smell, as well as a smell similar to that of burning which can be used to flavor foods while barbecuing."
When using the herb in food the leaves should always be chopped finely unless you are using whole sprigs, which can be removed from the cooked dish. Rosemary mixes well with other herbs like thyme, parsley, and chives.
Favorite Ways to cook with Rosemary
Barbecue Skewers: Large rosemary stems have been popular as barbecue skewers for as long as there's been rosemary. The leaves are stripped from the stem and either chopped and placed in another dish or it is sprinckled on the coals of the grill to sizzle and smoke the food. Some people like to leave the leaves on the stem if the stem is completely skewed with meat or veggies, where they are unable to catch fire and burn off. (helpful tips: pierce a hole in the food with a real skewer first, and soak the stem in water before use, to prevent it burning).
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes: Everyone loves Rosemary Roasted Potatoes! Favorite recipes are dried rosemary & potatoes tossed in melted butter then roasted or baked. Some recipes call for olive oil, rosemary and parmesan cheese. Try adding crushed garlic to rosemary with a bit of dried thyme and bake. All of these are favorite rosemary and potato recipes. Bake, uncovered, in a 450 degree oven about 25 minutes or until brown and tender. You can use new potatoes, red potatoes, cubed potatoes or potato wedges- All work great!
Meat: Rosemary is commonly used with pork, chicken or lamb. Preheat over to 350 to 375 and arrange meat in roasting dish. Drizzle over the top fresh lemon juice, add a bit of crushed garlic, salt, pepper and sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Cover meat with foil and bake until meat is done. 30 to 45 minutes.
Wikipedia tell us "When roasting a leg of lamb, branches of fresh rosemary can be laid in the roasting pan directly under the meat to keep it from sticking to the pan, and to infuse the meat with aroma of rosemary. Also strip the leaves off a branch or two, to sprinkle on top of the meat before roasting."
Fish: Fish can be done exactly the same way as the meat tips above. Keep in mind that fish cooks a lot faster than pork, chicken or lamb so lower your cooking time.
Potato Salad: Try tossing in fresh rosemary in potato salad. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar, onions, crushed garlic, salt, pepper and mayo. You will be suprised how good it tastes!
Mashed Potatoes: Would you rather have mashed potatoes? Try adding lots of butter, salt, pepper and a couple of teaspoons of fresh rosemary finely finely chopped.
Roasted Vegetables: You can't go wrong roasting veggies with rosemary. Try it on onions, carrots, celery, cabbage, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, winter squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes or yams. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and bake.
Bread: Toss it in fresh baked bread with a touch of honey. Rosemary can also be used flavouring foccaccia bread. Or try your hand at rosemary and cheese biscuits!
Sandwiches: Finely chopping a few leaves to a leftover turkey sandwich with mustard is a delight!
Rub: Mix a bit of chopped fresh Rosemary with salt, pepper, and flour to rub on Cornish game hens for roasting.
(botanical name Rosmarinus officinalis), also known as Garden Rosemary. A member of the mint family, it is an evergreen shrub also related to basil, marjoram, and oregano. It is usually found growing by the ocean, and its latin name equates to "dew of the sea."