It is likely you have seen many health and beauty products containing rosemary as a highlighted ingredient. Why is this? Is this simply a trend? Truth be told, Rosemary’s history of uses and benefits have extended thousands of years, and continue to be broadly used within many civilizations. The Rosemary bush is native to the seaside regions of North Africa and the Mediterranean, yet its influence has spread throughout Europe and into America. Ancient Greeks and Romans, revered Rosemary for its mystical and healing properties. While Hellenistic and Roman gardens contained Rosemary to protect from evil spirits. It has even been regarded as an herb for female protection, beauty, and power. There’s an old saying, “Where Rosemary flourishes, the mistress rules.” It is debatable whether this is an accurate statement, yet there are unquestionable benefits to utilizing rosemary in your daily life.
While you can use the leaves, for many things such as tea, hygienic uses, cooking, and dressings; have you ever used the sturdy stems for grilling? Yes, it is possible to use the stem of the rosemary plant as a skewer! In your CSA Farm Box this week you will see four long stems of rosemary. While most of our herbs are packaged in small plastic bags. We purposely harvested and packaged them in bunches this week to offer you an opportunity to get a two-in-one function from this CSA exclusive.
To use the plant in this fashion, it is best to strip the leaves from the stem and reserve them for use in one of the ways listed at the bottom of this blogpost. Rosemary stems function as sturdy skewers for the grill. The flavor of rosemary is gracefully transferred to the kebob items. The perfect way to brighten up your grilled meats and vegetables, not to mention a fun and attractive presentation on your plate.
Try your hand at this recipe found at www.realhousemoms.com
ROSEMARY STEAK SKEWERS WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE
- 5 lbs steak sirloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 lb Cherry or Grape tomatoes
- *Blue Sky Organic Farms* Rosemary Stalks
- ¼ c Balsamic glaze
- ¾ c Vegetable oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour into a bag.
- Add the cubed meat to the bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for an hour.
- Separate rosemary leaves from stalk, leaving a small amount at the top. Reserve leaves for another use. Once stalks are clean, allow them to soak in shallow water for one hour to prevent burning on the grill.
- When the meat is ready, place on rosemary skewer, alternating beef and tomatoes until each skewer is full.
- Grill skewers until beef is well seared on all sides, about 3 minutes per side.
Or make use of the abundant end of summer vegetables with this recipe found on Williams Sonoma.
MARINATED and GRILLED SUMMER VEGETABLES
- 1 small globe eggplant (about 1 lb) cut lengthwise into quarters
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- *Blue Sky Organic Farms* Rosemary Stalks
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 zucchini, cut into rounds about 1/2 inch thick
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Cut the eggplant quarters into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
2. Add the garlic to a large bowl. Pluck the leaves from 1 rosemary sprig and add them to the bowl. Add the mustard, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir well. Add the eggplant, zucchini and the tomatoes, and toss well to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the vegetables marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the remaining 8 rosemary sprigs (reserve the leaves for another use). Place the sprigs in a shallow dish, add water to cover and soak for 1 hour to prevent them from burning on the grill.
4. Drain the rosemary sprigs. Thread the vegetables onto the sprigs, alternating the eggplant slices, zucchini slices and tomatoes, and shaking off any excess marinade as you remove the vegetables from the bowl. Reserve the marinade.
5. About 15 minutes before you plan to serve the vegetable skewers, prepare a hot fire in a grill.
6. Grill the vegetables, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Other Fantastic Uses for Rosemary Leaves
Natural Air-Freshener: place a small handful of Rosemary Leaf into a sauce pot with about 5 inches of water, 1 sliced orange or lemon, and a splash of vanilla. Simmer on low all. Keep an eye on the water levels, and add more as needed.
Rosemary Salt: this a quick and delicious way to preserve the flavor of fresh rosemary. Sprinkle on chicken, lamb or roasted potatoes.
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- Mix together the finely chopped rosemary and the salt.
- Pack into a clean glass jar.
- Cover and store at room temperature away from direct light or heat.
Relief from Congestion: Boil water in a pot or kettle and transfer immediately to a large, heat proof bowl. Stir in two spoons of fresh rosemary – a natural antiseptic that helps open nasal passages. Drape a towel over your head and lean over the bowl, positioning the towel to keep in as much steam as possible. Breathe in the vapors for up to ten minutes.
Tea for Well-Being: According to research, diffusing your homemade rosemary oil or simply sipping on a cup of rosemary tea can help boost mental clarity and enhance cognitive performance. Rosemary is a member of the mint family. This herb has a good source of fiber, iron and contains antioxidants: carnosic acid and carnosol. Rosemary also contains many phytochemicals like rosmarinic acid, camphor, caffeic acid, ursolic acid, and betulinic acid. Rosemary’s natural chemicals act as stimulants to support your memory, reduce inflammation, fight free radicals, as well as supports a healthy cardiovascular response. To make the tea, it takes only a short time.
Ingredients you need are for 2 cups of tea:
- 1 to 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1- 1.5 tsp. of fresh rosemary leaves.
- 3 tsp. of honey
- 2 cups of boiling water or 500ml of cold tap water if you brew tea in a saucepan.
- Break the rosemary into small pieces, place into boiling water for 8 minutes. As with other herbs, rosemary needs a long time steeping. Then you can add some honey and decorate it with some fresh rosemary.
- The second way is boiling or simmering rosemary in the sauce pan for a stronger rosemary taste. You can bring to a slow boil, small rosemary pieces with water and honey. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes. If you want stronger rosemary taste you can press the rosemary against the side of the pan to extract the juices. Other items such as ginger and lemon can be added for an extra kick.
The above listed uses only skims the surface of the many ways to enjoy Rosemary. Perhaps you know of another wonderful way to incorporate Rosemary into daily use, or within a recipe. The options are endless! We look forward to seeing what you come up with, please share your insights with us on our Facebook page.
* Rosemary is quite safe. It is an herb to be widely embraced and celebrated in community herbal practice. The only times you’d want to be careful with Rosemary is during pregnancy, due to its action as an emmenagogue.