Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean, especially along the coast, it has been used since the time of the early Greeks and Romans. Its earliest use is said to be by the Greek scholars who would either wear a rosemary garland on their head or braid the herb into their hair which is where rosemary’s other common name “herb of crowns’’ comes from. They did this to help improve their memory during examinations. Throughout history, the herb was also the subject of many poems and was mentioned in five of Shakespeare’s plays. There are many different myths about rosemary for example brides often wore rosemary at their weddings as it symbolises happiness, loyalty and love. The herb is also a symbol of remembrance, which even today is still placed in the hands of the deceased at funerals.
Apart from being a very popular herb in the kitchen rosemary also has a range of health benefits including improving digestion. Due to being high in antioxidants, it is also thought to help boost your immune system. Other benefits include enhancing memory and preventing brain ageing. In Chinese, Unani and Ayurvedic medicine rosemary is used to treat headaches.
Rosemary is a very easy herb to grow, it thrives in sun with well-drained soil, easy to grow in pots. However, depending on the type of rosemary you grow this can vary the size of your herb as some types can grow quite big therefore will need fresh soil every couple of years. Once you have harvested your rosemary you can either use fresh or you can freeze the herbs to use later. To do this you want to remove the leaves from the stem then wash, dry and chop into small pieces. Once you have done this you want to grab an ice cube tray, add the leaves and top it up with water and freeze. These are then ready to be used whenever they are needed.
Gill has chosen one of her favourite rosemary recipes to include;
- 1 Onion
- Olive oil
- 6 sprigs of rosemary
- Part boil some potatoes, drain and cool, then you want to cut potatoes into cubes about the size of 1 ½ inches and pop into an oven pan.
- After you have done this, roughly chop your onion and add them to the pan, glaze with olive oil and season.
- Then you want to take 6 sprigs of rosemary, take off the leaves and add to the potatoes and onions making sure you add in the stalks as well.
- Pop this in the hot oven for approx. 45 minutes to 1 hour, until potatoes are golden brown, as you open the oven you will be greeted with the amazing smell of rosemary.
We hope you have learned something new today and for those of you who try out any of the recipes be sure to tag @GrimscoteManor in photos of your delicious rosemary potatoes. We’d love to see them!