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Looking like a small sprig from an evergreen tree the wonderful smell and assertively pine-like fragrance and pungent flavor of rosemary goes a long way to flavor a variety of dishes. Rosemary grows on a small evergreen shrub belonging to the Labiatae family that is related to mint. Its leaves look like flat pine-tree needles, deep green in color on top while silver-white on their underside. Its memorable flavor and unique health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen.
Rosemary has a unique pine-like fragrant flavor that is balanced by a rich pungency, a combination that evokes both the forest and the sea. Its memorable flavor and unique health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen.
Dried rosemary is brownish green in colour. The leaves have a tea like fragrance. Dried leaves when crushed have spicy camphoraceous aroma and a pungent, bitter taste. It can be stored for long and used in Italian delicacies like pastas, pizzas etc.
How to Select
Rosemary is available throughout the year. Whenever possible, choose fresh rosemary over the dried form of the herb since it is far superior in flavor. The springs of fresh rosemary should look vibrantly fresh and should be deep sage green in color, and free from yellow or dark spots.
Even through dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets, explore the local spice stores in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansion selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness to those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried herbs, when purchasing dried rosemary, try to select organically grown herbs since this will give you more assurance that the herbs contain no pesticide residues and have not been irradiated (among other potential adverse effects, irradiating rosemary may lead to a significant decrease in its carotenoid content.)
· Fresh tender tops are used for garnishing and flavouring pickles, soups, stews and sauces.
· Its leaves are best used as a condiment.
· Quickly rinse rosemary under cool running water and pat dry. Most recipes call for rosemary leaves, which can be easily removed from the stem. Alternatively, you can add the whole sprig to season soups, stews and then simply remove it before serving.
· Add fresh rosemary to omelets and frittatas.
· Rosemary is a wonderful herb for seasoning dishes.
· Add rosemary to tomato sauces and soups.
· Even better than butter……purée fresh rosemary leaves with olive oil and use as a dipping sauce for bread.
How to Store
Fresh rosemary should be stored in the refrigerator either in its original packaging or wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. You can also place the rosemary sprigs in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Dried rosemary should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a refrigerator where it will keep fresh for about six months.
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