Rosemary, baby.
April 9, 2006 3:00 AM   Subscribe

What do I do with all this rosemary?

Our herb garden got out of control, and now we have a couple of pounds of Salem rosemary. I'll infuse some olive oil, of course, but what else can I do with this overabundance? I'll wait until the tomatos are ripe to make marinara sauce, but that doesn't take much rosemary. I have an overload. Suggestions?
posted by BitterOldPunk to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you eat shrimp? Use the longest, straightest branches as skewers, grill 'em up.
posted by fixedgear at 3:14 AM on April 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Give it to friends? Sell it at a farmer's market? Make bath oil? Uh.... find local herbalists and get them to show you how to distill it for the essential oil? (That sounds hard.)

A former housemate of mine with the same problem is -- I think -- going to try out grinding it and storing it that way.
posted by salvia at 3:16 AM on April 9, 2006

Googling "uses for rosemary" may prove handy, if you can wade through some of the spam. I am of the opinion that a roasted pork loin encrusted with rosemary and garlic is a very fine thing indeed.
posted by Danelope at 3:20 AM on April 9, 2006

Dry it and put it in jars for future use. I lay the whole stalks in between sheets of newspaper for four or five days (until the leaves have noticeably withered) then strip the stalks with your hands , crushing the leaves as you go. You may need to chop the leaves if they are very long (more than a couple of centimetres), then fill your jars. It should last years.

I use it mainly on potatoes (whole baby new potatoes in a roasting dish, drizzle of olive oil, sprinkled with loads of sea salt, ground black pepper and a whole load of the dried rosemary, flip the spuds with a spatula a few times so they are covered in the oil, then into the oven) while the bf loves a lamb roast (rub olive oil into the joint, then rub in a whole load of rosemary, then into the oven).

Giving it away is also a good option.
posted by goo at 3:21 AM on April 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

works great on potatoes, as well. Make sure to 'bruise' it first to get max flavor.
posted by cadastral at 3:21 AM on April 9, 2006

I use it mainly with beef -- pot roast or beef stew made with red wine and rosemary is yum-may.
posted by Gator at 3:33 AM on April 9, 2006

Thanks, folks! I'll infuse some of it, dry some if it (as described above), and skewer some skrimps with the rest! Excellent!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:51 AM on April 9, 2006

You can soak it in warm honey and then strain it out and keep the honey. Rosemary honey is a pretty sublime taste, especially when drizzled over citrus fruits like blood oranges.
posted by jessamyn at 5:33 AM on April 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Rosemary honey is also scrumptious on duck. Try some of the fresh rosemary with olives on focaccia bread. And feel free to melt when you try this rosemary-orange syrup. Yum!
posted by youarenothere at 5:39 AM on April 9, 2006

A bit of a different approach, and certainly not for everyone, but rosemary can be smoked. It's a bit of a change from your tobacco if that's your kinda thing.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 6:00 AM on April 9, 2006

I saw on the Two Fat Lady's where they took a mutton roast and baked it with two generous handfuls of fresh rosemary tied to it.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:16 AM on April 9, 2006

Also see this question from last year.
posted by boomchicka at 6:42 AM on April 9, 2006

The booze option is never to be underestimated. You can use it to infuse a bottle of vodka with rosemary flavour. This stuff astes great in a vodka martini, or used in vodka tomato sauce. (Just don't cheap out on the quality of the vodka for this stuff.)

Or, use it as a garnish for a martini; gin or vodka. It gives a martini a nice herbal kick. Rosemary is a nice alternative to lemon or olives. Plus, it looks sexy and will impress your friends.
posted by generichuman at 9:08 AM on April 9, 2006

My roommate and I made amazing rosemary-walnut shortbread cookies. Unfortunately, I can't find the recipe, but I'm sure google knows.
posted by hooray at 9:12 AM on April 9, 2006

Rosemary is a wonderful flavor for potato chips. Google for "rosemary potato chips", you'll find tons of recipes.
posted by teleskiving at 10:35 AM on April 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

I put it in a stew once. I think it was a wintery, sweet potato, rutabaga, squash kinda stew. It was good.

I don't remember what else I used it for when I had my little pots of herbs before they died. On pizza? In hashbrowns/fried potatoes? In soup?
posted by ruby.aftermath at 10:43 AM on April 9, 2006

I'll try to restrain my jealousy at the thought of having several pounds of rosemary to work with long enough to post some ideas...

Rosemary roasted garlic. Take a couple of whole heads of garlic, take off as much of the papery skin as you can without the whole thing falling apart, rub the heads with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle on some rosemary - as much as you want. Wrap in foil, roast at 350F for about a half hour until the garlic is soft. (I do mine on the grill, on indirect heat.)

The result: a wonderfully herb-y paste of sweet roasted garlic. Just separate the cloves from the head, and squeeze out the pulp. I like it on grilled pork chops.

Also, ditto on the 'taters, mentioned above. I like red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes with the skins on, drizzled with olive oil, and tossed with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lots of rosemary. I'll roast them in a foil pan alongside the garlic, on the grill on indirect heat.

And, the skewers mentioned above are great - I've used them with pieces of beef sirloin, and they were wonderful.

Also, my sweetie, reading over my shoulder, is telling me that well-dried rosemary can be burned as incense.
posted by deadmessenger at 10:52 AM on April 9, 2006

use the thicker branches for kebob squewers
posted by small_ruminant at 11:06 AM on April 9, 2006

Saute garlic in olive oil, add rosemary leaves and chile caribe after the garlic is transparent.

Saute for one minute and add canned white beans, well drained and leftover pasta.

Saute for one minute and add fresh spinach and chicken stock plus salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for ten minutes and serve over slices of stale European style bread.
posted by leafwoman at 11:17 AM on April 9, 2006

grind fennel seeds, rosemary and garlic with a mortar and pestle. Smear all over a pork butt or shoulder roast. Bake until its ready to fall apart. Really good for sandwiches. Doesn't use that much rosemary, so you might have to repeat the whole delicious process multiple times.
posted by Good Brain at 11:19 AM on April 9, 2006

I use lots of rosemary in risotto. It's great in any vinegrette and I've made a really good pasta sauce using just rosemary, garlic and tomatoes.

Apparently, it's also an aphrodisiac. Check out this page.
posted by DrJJ at 11:23 AM on April 9, 2006

Penne Fedora:

Make a simple, smooth marinara sauce, briefly infuse with rosemary, add cream, and toss with penne.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:44 PM on April 9, 2006

We're doing large batches of the following for wedding favors:

Toss 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary with 1 cup of sea salt in a skillet over medium heat, until the rosemary is quite fragrant. Allow to cool, store in jars until ready to use. Sprinke over roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, grilled meat. Also makes badass popcorn when you throw a little parmesean cheese over the finished bowl.

We're packaging it in little 2oz jars that will travel well for our wedding guests.
posted by ersatzkat at 1:07 PM on April 9, 2006

When roasting a chicken, cram the entire body cavity full of rosemary. Very wondrous.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:52 PM on April 9, 2006

Rosemary pesto is fantastic. Strip the leaves and process with lots of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice. It's WONDERFUL tossed with green beans, potatoes, chicken - pretty much anything. You can make a big batch and use it through the week on different things.
posted by gatorae at 2:32 PM on April 9, 2006

Lots of great ideas here! Thanks, folks!

Rosemary honey on duck is something I just HAVE to try. Mmmmm.....waterfowl.....
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:23 PM on April 9, 2006

You could send me some.... :)

Seriously, though, the chicken-roast idea will wow you. Did it a few years ago, and am now inspired to do it again.

Roasted potatoes, cut in wedges. Olive oil and rosemary. Unbelievably good.
posted by erisraven at 1:21 AM on April 12, 2006

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