Rosemary is pine-scented herb, that grows into a small shrub that can reach up to four feet in height in an ideal climate. The plant produces flat, needle-like leaves that are about one-inch in length, green in color with a silver-grey sheen on the underside. Rosemary?s needle-like leaves grow in thick rows, straight upward on multi-branched, woody stems. The fragrance is very pungent, with a bitter and astringent, pine-like taste. When mature, white or blue, two-lipped flowers bloom at the tops of the stems. Rosemary is generally harvested prior to flowering.
Rosemary has a wide variety of uses. It is a potent herb, and should be used sparingly. In culinary applications, Rosemary pairs well with other herbs, but can be used lightly on its own. After cleaning and drying, remove the herbs by holding the stem at the top and running your fingers along the stem backwards. Finely chop Rosemary and add it to eggs, cheeses, and roasted potatoes. Use it to flavor stuffed meats or chicken, and vegetables. Add fresh sprigs of Rosemary to soups and stocks for its aroma and flavor, removing the stems at the end of cooking. The astringent nature of Rosemary makes it an ideal herb for flavoring fatty meats like lamb or oily fish. Rosemary is a common herb for flavoring breads and savory muffins. Flavor vinegars and oils with sprigs of Rosemary, this also preserves the herb. To store, keep fresh sprigs of Rosemary wrapped in a damp paper towel or in ice cube trays filled with oil or stock for future use. Dried Rosemary will keep for up to six months when stored in an airtight container.