Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods since...no, that would be telling.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Weekend Herb Blogging #18 - Weeping Rosemary

It may be only February, but when the day is sunny, the bees are out doing their thing. This is really a better pic of the bee than of the rosemary, but he was photogenic. :G:

This is actually the weeping form of the herb, which has shorter "leaves." I'm not sure what the correct term is for those needle-like things that carry the rosemary essence. I have much more of the regular rosemary, but there wasn't so much flowering and pollinating going on with them.

Rosemary is good for seasoning strongly flavored meats. For example, if you do the thing with roast beef or leg of lamb, where you make a slit and slice in a slice of garlic, you can put a sprig of rosemary in, too, for a really aromatic boost to the flavor.

And, of course, rosemary is used on focaccia, chopped and sprinkled on with a gloss of olive oil, maybe some onion, or salt and pepper, roasted red pepper etc.

Rather than type in a long recipe, or pair of recipes, I'm going to link to Italian Food Forever, my go-to site for Italian recipes. You need to start with a biga*, then the focaccia, itself.

It was a recipe like this that I grew up knowing as pizza. My mom made it with tomato, not sauce, but rubbing verrrry ripe tomato over it and sprinkling on herbs. I imagine, being as my family was Norweigian and German, it was easier to just call it pizza than to try to explain about focaccia. So, I never knew what real pizza was until I was in junior high or high school. :G: So, if you like a hearty pizza, you can use this recipe, too.

For this week's roundup of herb blogging posts, visit Kalyn's Kitchen. Lots of nice pics, good info and yummy recipes.



* From Wikipedia, here's the definition of a biga:
Biga is a type of sourdough starter used in Italian baking. Many popular Italian breads, including ciabatta, are made using a biga...
Also, rosemary :
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves that are used in cooking. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae...

8 Comments:

At 7:01 PM, Blogger e! said...

I grow rosemary too.

Not that this is at all original, but I like to throw a few branches on the roasting tin and dump a whole chicken on it (surrounded by all sorts of veggies, of course) and roast the whole shebang.

I also use it a lot to mix in with parmesan shavings, which I then flatten into circles on some waxed paper and bake in a hot oven. They turn into crispy, cheesy, herby wafers that are great as appetizers.

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger b'gina said...

Hi, e! That sounds delicious with the chicken, as do the parm crunchies. I'll have to try them.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Kalyn said...

Hi B'gina,
Sorry to leave this here but I couldn't see an e-mail. I got your link and added it into the WHB recap. Would you mind adding a link to the post with the word Weekend Herb Blogging? That way people can come back to see the rest of the herb blogging entries. Thanks. (You can just not publish this if you want to now that you've read it.)

 
At 6:23 AM, Blogger Kalyn said...

Hi B'gina. Great post. I love rosemary so much. When it starts to get cold here in Utah I cut off the branches and freeze them, then when i need some rosemary in the winter I just pull out a few twigs and pull the leaves off. You're so lucky to have it growing all year.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger farmgirl said...

Wonderful photo! Thanks for the rosemary tips--I'll have to try adding some into the slits for garlic next time I roast a leg of lamb. : )

 
At 12:09 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

I love rosemary - the intense smell of it, the way it mixes so well with so many savory dishes. I add a little bit to many things, including my Thanksgiving stuffing (just a little, minced fine). Gives it that extra something special.

I'll second the Parmesan crisps! They're also really good with straight Parm or freshly ground pepper. These dissappear when I make them for parties.

 
At 3:27 AM, Blogger Gourmetish said...

That's a great photo!

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger b'gina said...

Thanks for the compliments on the photo. I got a new camera, since my old one is minus its power supply, and I'm still trying to get the hang of it. I've been too embarrassed to post my food pics, pretty much. But this one came out really well, even if it is more the portrait of a bee than of rosemary. :G:

Kalyn, I would have thought it would be hardy enough for even Utah. Even when we've had subzero winters, it's survived. Of course, it's old and tough. But freezing it seems like a good idea. I like to make wreaths of it as bases for other stuff, like garlic and peppers, too. It's got lots of "leaves" and is reasonably flexible, so it's good for weaving into shapes. Once, when I was feeling ambitious, I wove some into mats to use to set hot pots on for a picnic. The aroma was amazing. It really seemed to bring out the mint in the rosemary.

Susan, I learned that trick from my cousin. She used to be the one we all joked about couldn't even boil water, and she couldn't. Then she got engaged and decided to learn to cook. Look out world! She turned out to be pretty darn good.

Kathy, rosemary instead of sage? Sounds good to me. I almost never use sage in my dressing, preferring something milder, I even use basil sometimes. Rosemary and basil are in the same family, though, so I'm going to have to give your idea a try.

 

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