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How to Use Rosemary In Your Cooking

Updated on September 3, 2008

Cooking With Rosemary

Rosemary is an evergreen perennial plant which can be harvested all year round. It produces small pretty blue flowers in the winter and early spring. A good time to prune rosemary into shape is after it has flowered.

Rosemary can be used fresh or dried. It is an evergreen plant so using it fresh is easier and preferable. You can either strip off the leaves from the woodier stems or use whole sprigs to flavour your food then remove them.

The leaves and flowers of rosemary can be used in many different dishes; here are just a few ideas to whet your appetite. However, remember that rosemary has quite a strong flavour so you don't need to add very much even in dishes that are slow cooked.

The flowers can be used in desserts eg sprinkled over ice cream or mousses.

Rosemary blends especially well with oranges but also other fruits. An orange fool flavoured with rosemary is lovely.

You could also make Rosemary Syrup.

One of the more traditional uses for rosemary is as an accompaniment to lamb dishes. If you blend rosemary leaves, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning and marinate your lamb before cooking it will taste delicious. This also works for chicken and pork dishes.

Use sprigs for roasting, grilling or on the barbeque.

Another combination for lamb is to mix rosemary leaves with orange to create a glaze but some people may find this a bit too sweet.

The fresh shoots can be used to flavour olive oil or milk/cream or syrup to be used in puddings. Also delicious added to lemonade and other summer drinks.

Onions roasted with rosemary and made into a sauce is also tasty.

You can make rosemary flavoured oil or vinegars.

Adding rosemary to roast potatoes is another popular use and is one of my favourite ways of using it.

Make skewers from stripped, longer, stronger sprigs (soak in water before cooking) or use as they are as a basting brush.

Rosemary sprigs cooked with fried vegetables make a lovely combination (don't forget to remove the sprigs before eating!)

Makes a wonderful oil and vinegar. Great for marinades.

Add finely chopped leaves to soups, sauces, salads, pasta and bread

such as foccacia.

Rosemary combines well with any of the following herbs: bay, chives, garlic, lovage, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, savory and thyme.

An essential part of ‘herbes de provence’.

It goes well with the following foods: apricots, breads, cabbage family, eggs, fish, lamb, onions, oranges, parsnips, pasta, pork, potatoes, poultry, squash and tomatoes.

If you want to see a short (1minute 43seconds) video overview on making Rosemary Focaccia you can see it here.

There are a few cooking tips on this How to cook with fresh organic rosemary video too.

Medical Herbalists report that rosemary is good for:

• Energising, aphrodisiac, cleansing and mood enhancing.

• Anti-inflammatory, stimulating, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic.

• Aids digestion of fats.

• An infusion used as a tea makes a reviving drink and can also be used as a mouthwash for halitosis or a good antiseptic gargle.

I hope that's given you some ideas about using rosemary. If you would like to receive a free ebook '7 Everyday Herbs Made Simple' plus a fortnightly newsletter you can find out more at my website or visit the blog for more herb tips.

Thanks for reading!

Useful Herb Cooking and Growing Equipment From Amazon


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    • profile image

      Leah muso....Nyeri kenya. 2 years ago

      Am very grateful for your informativ article.i have been using rosemary herb on certain dishes but am happy to learn more.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 4 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Thank you for all your ideas. I got some rosemary as a gift yesterday and my friend thought I was crazy adding it to my cabbage, so not so crazy after all.

    • profile image

      Deanna 5 years ago

      How do you add rosemary to lemonade? This could become one of my favorites but I can't picture little bits of rosemary leaves in my drink. Can you explain more here?

      Thanks for all the fabulous suggestions, I'll use it lots more for the other dishes too.

    • profile image

      Zaynab 5 years ago

      I have a better idea on how to use rosemary thanks to you.I hope to find out on how to use the other spices like dill weed as well.Thanks

    • profile image

      Chandrani 5 years ago

      Thank you for a clear and direct answer to the use of rosemary. That was one of the most satisfying yet quickest searches. I hope more articles become like yours, to the point

    • Gina2008 profile image

      Gina2008 5 years ago

      Great article! I love to use Rosemary! I even use Rosemary hair conditioner. I am addicted to the smell and love the taste. Thanks for this informative article!

    • profile image

      Cely 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info.I will try the juice using rosemary leaves

    • profile image

      ken 6 years ago

      Im a novice cook bought a slow cooker with a cook book 1 of the recipes uses rosemary . I bought oganic at xmas time and thought someone was pulling my leg. will use this site often . thank you so much for your help.

    • profile image

      samantha 6 years ago

      Thank you for helping me with rosemary. I just got a new plant and needed to know how to use it thanks to you i do now. thank you so much.

    • profile image

      Susan 6 years ago

      Hi Madeline,

      I really enjoyed seeing your blog and learning more about rosemary. Thanks,


    • profile image

      Kate 7 years ago

      This is one of the best pages I have seen for How to use herbs and spices, I like how it explains how to use it, and what other spices to use it with. The best I have seen so far!