Rosemary

native to: Mediterranean region
in season here: all year

Rosemary is traditionally used to flavor chicken, lamb, pork, salmon, and tuna. It is a member of the Labiatae family and related to mint, oregano, and thyme. Historically, it is associated with memory; in ancient Greece, students would place sprigs in their hair while studying. The link to memory also made it a symbol of fidelity in England, where it was once used in wedding decorations and gifts. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was a popular digestive aid. Fresh rosemary can be frozen in water or broth in ice cube trays as an alternative to drying it.

Rosemary stimulates the immune system and improves digestion. Its anti-inflammatory compounds can mitigate asthma attacks and it stimulates circulation, increasing blood flow to the brain and helping concentration. The flowers contain the phenolic anti-oxidant compound rosmarinic acid and a number of volatile essential oils that work to soothe painful ailments such as gout, rheumatism, and neuralgic conditions. A recent study suggests that a compound in rosemary, carnosic acid, could help prevent macular degeneration. It also fights inflammation, allergies, and fungal infections, and acts as an antiseptic. It is high in many B vitamins, folates, and minerals such as iron and calcium, and is a good source of vitamins A and C. Rosemary extract can stimulate hair growth and prevent dandruff, while rosemary tea has been used to treat nervous headaches, colds, and depression.

In large amounts, rosemary can cause miscarriage and might worsen neurological conditions such as epilepsy and neurosis. Rosemary oil can cause allergic skin reactions in some people, but this is not common. Rosemary should be used with caution by those taking anticoagulants, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, or lithium.

Read more:
label-style nutrition information for fresh rosemary
mercola.com
Medical News Today
a history of rosemary at Our Herb Garden
lots of rosemary recipes atabout.com

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Cornmeal olive oil cookies

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/3 cup powdered sugar, or as needed

Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Whisk oil with sugar until combined; whisk in egg and rosemary. Fold in flour mixture to form soft dough. Roll tablespoonsful into balls and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake about 13 min. at 375F, until edges are lightly golden and centers puff and split, rotating sheet halfway through. Let cool slightly on sheet, then roll in powdered sugar while still warm.

From: The Complete cooking for two cookbook : 650 recipes for everything you’ll ever want to make / by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. America’s Test Kitchen, c2014. 9781936493838

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Brithyll a chig moch (Welsh trout & bacon)

fresh rosemary, loosely chopped
fresh thyme, loosely chopped
fresh parsley, loosely chopped
fresh sage, loosely chopped
butter to taste
1 rainbow trout per person, cleaned, head and tail left on
1 long rasher of bacon per person

Combine rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage; blend with a little butter and stuff fish. Wrap each fish in a rasher of bacon, then in foil. Bake in a hot oven for around 25-30 minutes. Open foil and paint fish with a little butter. Serve with boiled potatoes and plain fresh vegetables.

Adapted from: Anthony Crowter, Cae Nest Hall Hotel, Llanbedr Merionnydd, N. Wales, who notes that this dish is traditionally baked in an open fire with the fish encased in mud.

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Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.