I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like rosemary. The fragrance is intoxicating. It goes well in so many foods and drinks that I was excited to learn more about its origin and usage. I set out to discover more about this versatile herb after reading about rosemary hot wings on an online menu. I haven’t been able to think of much else since.
Rosemary lives in the rocky areas of the Mediterranean, along the coast. The genus name Rosmarinus derives from the Latin words ros and marinus, which together translate to “dew of the sea.”
“Greek scholars often wore a garland of the herb on their heads to help their memory during examinations. In the ninth century, Charlemagne insisted that the herb be grown in his royal gardens. The Eau de Cologne that Napoleon Bonaparte used was made with rosemary. The herb was also the subject of many poems and was mentioned in five of Shakespeare’s plays.”
A sprig of rosemary was used at funerals, placed in the deceased’s hands as a way of remembrance. Brides wore rosemary at their weddings because it symbolizes happiness, loyalty, and love.
“Legend has it that rosemary originally had white flowers which were changed to blue ones when the virgin Mary placed her cloak upon it while resting during her flight to Egypt.”
Rosemary grows very well in warm climates, outside in pots and garden beds. It prefers rocky soil to allow good drainage. Add sand or gravel to the earth and allow it to become dry before watering again—harvest rosemary before it flowers. The best time is typically in the summer or early in the autumn.
Benefits of Rosemary
This beautiful herb is rich in antioxidants, improves memory, boosts the immune system, and improves circulation. Additionally, rosemary is said to be good for the following:
- Diabetic Kidney Damage
- Supports the liver
- Gum Disease
- Low Blood Pressure
Rosemary vitamins and minerals
“A typical one-tablespoon serving of rosemary is also not likely to provide significant micronutrients. However, you will get a small amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate. Minerals in rosemary include calcium, iron, and magnesium, and manganese.”
Recipes for rosemary
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, combine cashews, oil, rosemary, and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Spread cashews onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Roast 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Rosemary is a beautiful addition to many cocktails. This hearty herb makes a striking garnish to drinks. Make an infusion of rosemary mixed with gin or vodka to be used in your favorite beverages. Rosemary pairs exceptionally well with many fruits, including dark berries, apples, citrus, and pears. Infusions are best in vodka, gin, or whiskey.
Read Herb Infused Cocktails for step-by-step instructions on how to infuse alcohol with your favorite herbs. I came up with a rosemary drink that combines tea with gin and rosemary for a refreshing and unique beverage.
- 4 oz of gin-infused Meditative State of Mind tea, by You, Me, and Uni
- 2 oz rosemary infusion (made with gin or vodka)
- 2 oz simple syrup or rosemary syrup (See recipes here)
- One lime, cut in wedges
- Juice of one lime
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (plus extra for garnish)
- 16 oz sparkling water (plain, lime, or lemon)
In a glass bowl, add the green leaves from two sprigs of fresh rosemary. Pour in the juice of one lime. Reserve the lime wedges for garnishing each drink. Add the simple syrup, gin-infused tea, and rosemary infusion. Muddle all ingredients together and expect a beautiful green color to emerge. Strain the liquid into a pitcher, discarding the rosemary leaves. Add sparkling water and stir gently with a tall spoon. Serve in a chilled martini glass or a low ball with a big ball of ice. Don’t forget the rosemary sprig for garnish!
Freeze rosemary in olive oil
When harvesting fresh rosemary, you can dry and preserve it in several ways. One way is to add olive oil to an ice cube tray and place fresh rosemary leaves (remove from stem) in the oil. Freeze overnight. Pop-out cubes and store them in an airtight Ziploc bag in the freezer.
Use rosemary oil in soups and marinades. Thaw and brush onto French bread loaves, halved, and bake. Add to pasta with your favorite veggies. Drizzle over salmon or a salad.
Lemon Garlic Rosemary Chicken Wings
This recipe involves marinating the wings for two days or overnight, at a minimum. They are worth the extra time and preparation! You can grill or bake these, whichever you prefer. If baking, you can turn on the broiler setting at the end for extra crispy skins. No one likes soggy chicken wings – gross!
I adapted this recipe from Low Carb Maven, Kim Hardesty. I used dried garlic since I didn’t have fresh on hand, and they turned out great. The recipe also suggested red pepper flakes, but I skipped those for my daughter.
- ¾ cup lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed)
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped small
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or minced (or 1-2 tsp dried garlic)
- About ½ cup EVOO
- Salt – 1 tsp and pepper – ¼ to ½ tsp
- Optional 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Place the marinade in a gallon-size Ziploc bag inside a bowl. Trim the ends off the wings and place them into the bag with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1-2 days, turning every 8 hours.
For baking: Remove from bag and blot with a paper towel, then place in the bowl. Let sit at room temperature for half an hour. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a baking pan with olive oil or use cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and get wings to desired crispiness after 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
For grilling: Skip the blotting and room temperature process. Spray the grill with oil before turning it on. Grill for 8 minutes on each side. Remove when they reach 165 degrees or when juices are clear when pierced with a fork or knife.
Rosemary is good for your health, has a delicious fragrance, and tastes great in many recipes. Don’t you think it’s time you started growing this strong herb in your garden beds?
Enjoy more articles from You, Me, and Uni here.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor, and owner of Walden Writes For Women.