What can I do with Rosemary?
August 21, 2016 4:01 PM   Subscribe

I have a ginormous Rosemary bush which I need to trim back to manageable amounts (at the moment it covers our path, which is obviously not ideal). I like Rosemary with lamb, but theres limited variations on that. Are there any recipes where Rosemary might not be the obvious thing to use? Does it freeze? Any other non-obvious uses? I've offered it to neighbours but it doesnt seem to be a thing amongst my mainly Asian/Afro-Carribean neighbours, but if there's a way of giving it away I'm all for it!
posted by threetwentytwo to Food & Drink (45 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Rosemary is the dominant herb in chicken cacciatore.

My son bought a house that had a rosemary hedge. Too much to use in a lifetime!
posted by SemiSalt at 4:07 PM on August 21, 2016

Best answer: Dry some and make sachets for linen closets, drawers, etc.
posted by TwoStride at 4:09 PM on August 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

It works beautifully with balsamic chicken. :)
posted by heathrowga at 4:12 PM on August 21, 2016

Best answer: Using rosemary sticks as skewers for kebabs is a thing! :)
posted by The otter lady at 4:14 PM on August 21, 2016 [8 favorites]

Best answer: You can grind it up and put it in shortbread recipes and it's pretty great. Also tossed with potatoes and baked (home fries especially). I think it freezes okay, ymmv.
posted by jessamyn at 4:14 PM on August 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

Rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes. Can't be beat.
posted by raisingsand at 4:15 PM on August 21, 2016 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Rosemary is effectively free for you now, don't worry about losing anything. You can cut it back all you like and it will still produce more than a neighborhood can use.
posted by rhizome at 4:22 PM on August 21, 2016 [6 favorites]

I wonder if an activity director at a nursing home would want it to use as a craft/gift project - sachets?
posted by cda at 4:26 PM on August 21, 2016

I saw a reference once to rosemary and potato pizza. I was rather scornful, but the two potato dishes above suggest that rosemary with potatoes is actually a thing.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:37 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

It freezes perfectly, but yeah, once you have a rosemary bush you have all the rosemary you will ever want and more, unless you are running some kind of commercial operation.

You could make soap with it, or dry it for sachets. You could probably make a cat deterrent spray/powder if you have a problem with them using your garden for a toilet.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:41 PM on August 21, 2016

You could also make rosemary vinegar or rosemary olive oil to give as gifts.
posted by The otter lady at 4:44 PM on August 21, 2016

I'd put some in olive oil, queue up some potato recipes for a few weeks, and reserve some for gin and tonics with rosemary sprigs.
posted by lownote at 5:00 PM on August 21, 2016

I like to make fresh ricotta cheese and then mix it with rosemary and olive and eat it on bread (....or by the spoonful.....) mmmmm! (Ricotta is super simple to make - 1 gallon whole milk plus 1 quart buttermilk, cook in a large pot on medium until curds form, then gently place into cheese cloth and drain. So yummy)
posted by firei at 5:07 PM on August 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

Tie some to your shower head so that the water runs over it and enjoy the scent!
posted by jgirl at 5:38 PM on August 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I see that rosemary olive oil has already been suggested, but here is a potentially simpler method for making rosemary essential oil. Rosemary oil can be used for all sorts of purposes - I love applying it to my hair about 5 mins before shampooing. Even if you don't believe in the benefits of essential oils, it can be kept longer as an oil and can be easily used for scenting purposes.

(I am so envious!!!)
posted by satoshi at 5:52 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I add it (chopped up) to corn bread.
posted by TORunner at 6:00 PM on August 21, 2016

posted by calgirl at 6:08 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

At this point, the only thing that is keeping my rosemary bushes from taking over the yard is Lucky Peach's Rosemary Nuts recipe.

They're obnoxiously tasty.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:24 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, I find the recipe needs a tablespoon or so more of butter than the published version needs. YMMV.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:24 PM on August 21, 2016

It makes a great syrup (boil with sugar and water until syrupy, bottle). You can use that as a mixer with alcoholic drinks (I like it with gin and tonic) or with cordials. A bar here does a nice rhubarb and rosemary soda with muddled cooked rhubarb, rosemary syrup and soda water. I've tried similar with other fruits too and citrus or apple all work fine,
posted by lollusc at 6:25 PM on August 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have the same problem and haven't been able to use all my rosemary, but I did take some and grind it up in a food processor with a bunch of kosher salt, so that I can use the combo on roasting chicken, which I do a lot. I'm hopeful the salt will keep the smell and flavor for a while.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 6:25 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Rosemary pound cake! It's delicious. Odd, but delicious. You can make a bunch to give away with your rosemary-themed gift baskets. (Olive oil, poundcake, nuts....)

I use Nigella Lawson's recipe but Martha Stewart's looks fine, too.
posted by chocotaco at 6:32 PM on August 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

This peach-rosemary jam recipe is delicious, you might need to boil it a bit longer than the recipe calls for, if you like a thicker jam.
posted by siouxsiesmith at 6:44 PM on August 21, 2016

Rosemary red wine olive oil cookies!! They're phenomenal. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2000/02/16/style/the-minimalist-even-cookies-can-be-healthy.html
posted by karbonokapi at 7:00 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Chocolate rosemary pots de creme
posted by mmascolino at 7:05 PM on August 21, 2016

I use it for a big vase full of greenery
posted by bq at 7:20 PM on August 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Peel and par-boil and slice potatoes (ahead of time). For a barbeque, bring them out and throw them on with an unnecessary amount of butter, heaps of chopped rosemary, and rock salt. They make a barbeque into an event... :-)
posted by tillsbury at 7:46 PM on August 21, 2016

Savory sweet potatoes.
Turkey & white bean chili.
Rosemary butter.
Breakfast sausages or patties.
Lemon & rosemary sorbet!
Pairs great with grapefruit.
Roast duck & gravy.
Rosemary, maple & walnut butter.
Anchovy & rosemary popcorn.

Toss in mesh, use instead of dryer sheets.
Air freshener infusion.
posted by fritillary at 8:01 PM on August 21, 2016

Jamie Oliver has a bunch of risotto recipes that use rosemary beautifully
Eg. Chicken, chorizo, rosemary risotto
Roast squash, sage, chestnut and pancetta risotto
Oozy mushroom risotto
posted by honey-barbara at 8:09 PM on August 21, 2016

Best answer: You will never, ever, be able to use it all. Just abandon that idea.

Also, be aware that whatever a recipe calls for, you should probably use less of it when you're pulling it fresh off the plant. It's a lot stronger in that state.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:52 PM on August 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

You can grind it up and put it in shortbread recipes and it's pretty great.

Great flavor and texture combo: rosemary shortbread cookies with vanilla ice cream and fresh figs.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 4:49 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

So jealous.

This recipe for Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage salad calls for 1 tsp of rosemary, but I use 2 Tbsp.

It won't put much of a dent in your rosemary bush, but it will be delicious.
posted by Frenchy67 at 5:25 AM on August 22, 2016

I do a pasta sauce with sausage, onions & mushrooms (sausages out of their casings and veg all chopped really fine) that I finish with cream, parmesan and fresh rosemary. Serve over your favorite noodle. It is never quite the same depending on who is making it but it's always delicious.
posted by machine at 6:47 AM on August 22, 2016

I love heaps of it baked into/on focaccia, with some crunchy salt.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:28 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Rosemary Butter Cookies! (Double the rosemary; Martha doesn't use enough.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 8:14 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm in a Buy Nothing group on FB where people offer their over-abundant harvestings quite often. Maybe there's such a group in your area. Or you could put it on the freebie section of CL. I normally offer such things for "porch pick-up", ie, I don't have to be there when people show up, I just leave it in a bag marked with their name on the porch.
posted by vignettist at 8:57 AM on August 22, 2016

Best answer: Depending on your neighborhood you could simply put a pot of some kind on your porch with a "free rosemary" sign on it that is always replenished with the abundant offerings of your ginormous provider. Given enough foot traffic yours will eventually be known as the Free Rosemary House. Eventually you will leverage this with the distribution of a politically-inflected cookbook into an activist project to win the release of a wrongly-convicted woman named Rosemary. Then, you run for mayor.
posted by rhizome at 9:23 AM on August 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

posted by *s at 9:54 AM on August 22, 2016

If you like traditional martinis, shake one up with a sprig of rosemary. Either gin or vodka works, makes for a delightfully fragrant martini. Rosemary for garnish.
posted by lizbunny at 10:31 AM on August 22, 2016


You would have to check that your local group allows food postings. Not all do.
posted by rhizome at 10:35 AM on August 22, 2016

Best answer: Do freeze some. A bundle of six-inch twigs in a freezer bag in the freezer is good insurance in case the bush dies suddenly, as mine did (as the result of too much rain). Frozen rosemary is much, much tastier than dried rosemary, and it's handy to have it on the twigs so you can pull them out at the end of cooking, leaving plenty of flavor behind.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 12:16 PM on August 22, 2016

Response by poster: Thank you all! Great and varied answers!
posted by threetwentytwo at 7:20 AM on August 23, 2016

posted by emilyw at 3:49 AM on August 28, 2016

Came here to shout out for rosemary salt and rosemary syrup, both mentioned above. The salt keeps very well; I'm just finishing up a batch I made last year. I made a much larger batch this year with the intention of portioning it into small jars as holiday gifts.

You can freeze syrup in small containers to extend its lifespan, or freeze it in an ice cube tray and then store the cubes in a Ziploc for easy deployment during winter cocktail emergencies.

For a savory option, I've also frozen washed and chopped rosemary in oil or melted butter, again in ice cube trays, to use for soups and sautees.
posted by hilatron at 9:57 AM on August 30, 2016

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