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Subject: Rosemary info
From: Chris
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 96 20:05:27 -30000

I'm a little late in getting this out, as I was off-site today. I'm glad to see that some of you started without me!!! :-)

Common Name: Rosemary
Latin Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Member of: Labiatae (mint family)

Growing requirements: Full sun, slightly acid soil (6.5 pH), good drainage, perennial but must be brought in for the winter in Zone 6 and less. Seeds are tough to germinate, cuttings are preferred.

Rosemary is used for topiary.

Folklore: It is said that rosemary originally had white flowers, but Mary (mother of Jesus) laid her cloak on a rosemary plant and it turned the flowers blue.

If rosemary thrives, the woman rules the household.

Rosemary used to be put under pillows to prevent nightmares.

Culinary uses:

A special affinity for lamb, also beef, veal, poultry and game.

Try roasting a chicken with half a lemon and some fresh rosemary sprigs placed in the cavity.

Add to summertime lemonade.

Good in split pea soup.

A small amount is great added to bread or biscuit recipes. I use rosemary in my pizza crust.

Roast potatoes with garlic and rosemary with a little olive oil in foil.

I make a rosemary oil by infusing some chopped fresh leaves in a pan, covering it with good olive oil and heating on low for an hour. Sometimes I will heat it up several times over several days. I use this oil to put on vegetables before grilling, to put on bread dough when making focaccia, on chicken before roasting. This oil should be stored in the refrigerator.

Fresh rosemary can be put on coals before grilling to enhance the flavor of whatever is grilled.


Rosemary is one of the few herbs that tastes almost as good dried as it does fresh. However if you want to preserve the fresh taste, you can freeze the leaves or mix them with butter and then freeze the butter.

Other uses:

hair rinse for brunettes

Essential oil (few drops) added to a few ounces of oil (jojoba, grapeseed or almond) makes a great massage oil.

As a flea dip for dogs, make a tea of 1 t. herb per one cup water, use for after bath rinse or between baths.

From: (Susan L. Nielsen)

>I grow both upright and prostrate rosemaries, but find that the prostrate ones winter better indoors, as they are less susceptible to powdery mildew, in my experience. The leaves (needles?) are seem to be more pine-y in smell, which I like.

To which I would add, I believe the upright Rosemarys are hardier overall than the various other forms. Here in USDA 8, I mulch even my upright Rosmarinus -- I've lost the prostrate ones in a single good freeze; the upright will tolerate more, but they seem susceptable to unexpected mortality -- my neighbor lost a plant of some 12 years duration last winter, and mine came through just fine. Fortunately, we hand cuttings back and forth over the fence-- mine came from hers, and now hers comes from mine. What fun! If you can, always find a neighbor with a garden!

From: Laura Michaels

>To which I would add, I believe the upright Rosemarys are hardier overall than the various other forms.

I grew a variety of rosemary known as rosemary arp and it had no trouble surviving the frosts when I was living in Texas. We didn't get too many frosts and we did have some mulch down, but still it did very well in the weather when a lot of other tender perennials died.

From: "Mary Ann Gareis" <mgareis.warrior.MGC.PeachNet.EDU

I have had incredible luck rooting rosemary in just plain water. I take a good cutting, not too woody and put it in a jar or glass of water in a window. Check to make sure your water doesn't evaporate; add more as necessary. When I've done this, in a few weeks I have a pretty decent root system. Pot it and nurture the plant along until it's pretty good size before you put it outside (if you plan to put it outside.) THis has worked for me. You just have to be patient.

I imagine some other people on the list will have suggestions for rooting compounds which I've heard are good. I've just never used them.


My favorite use for rosemary is in broiling or grilling chicken and lamb chops.

For chicken I use melted butter garlic salt (or powder) powdered ginger and a sprinkling of rosemary.

For lamb chops I use garlic salt, sage and rosemary. People who swear they hate lamb will even like this.


I'd mentioned a recipe for rosemary focaccia a while ago & promised to post if people seemed interested. They did, so here it is:

Rosemary Focaccia
(sage focaccia:

Yields 6 to 8 servings

2 tablespoons dried or fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup boiling water
1 package dry yeast (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive or rosemary oil (recipe follows)
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 - 1 ½ cups unbleached white bread flour
1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt
3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs

Crush the rosemary leaves with a pestle or chop them finely. Pour the boiling water over the rosemary leaves in a large mixing bowl. Let the water cool to a temperature comfortable on the inside of the wrist. Add the yeast and sugar.

After about 5 minutes, when the yeast is bubbling, add the salt and one tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir in the whole wheat flour. Add only as much white bread flour as you need to make the dough pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, until it is smooth and springy. As you knead the dough, add just enough flour to prevent sticking. The dough should remain rather soft.

Oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it once to oil both sides. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set it aside in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and knead it for a minute or two. Oil a large baking sheet with olive oil. Stretch and pat the dough on the baking sheet to roughly form a 12x12-inch square. Cover the pan and let the dough rise again for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375. Make indentations with your fingertips about every 2 inches, dimpling the dough all over. Sprinkle coarse salt over the top. Lightly press in fresh rosemary sprigs. Drizzle the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm, cut or broken into pieces.

Top with a small onion, sliced paper-thin. Lightly press the onion slivers into the dough before the second rising.

Top with sliced rounds of cherry tomato and black olive and thinly-sliced red onion, pressing them into the dough before the second rising.

Combine any herbs and any toppings.

Rosemary Oil

Put several small branches of fresh rosemary into an empty olive oil bottle or other glass bottle. Fill the bottle with olive oil. After a couple of days, the resins in the rosemary will seep into the oil to turn it a darker green. Then, each time you use the rosemary-scented oil, simply refill the bottle with more olive oil to keep the rosemary covered.

Note from Beth: I recently read about problems with home-made herb-infused olive oils getting bacteria. Apparently the olive oil is an ideal environment for breeding. I would guess you'd be fine if you used your oil up in a few days, but probably would not recommend the "on-going" method described here. By the way, herbed vinegars are fine because the acidity of the vinegar is a safe environment.


From: (Mindy Vinqvist)

Hello all,
I have three fun things with rosemary...two for eating and one for hair.

Rosemary Vinegar (The Complete Book of Herbs ISBN 1-85967-011-3)

2 ½ c rosemary sprigs plus extra to decorate
2 ½ c white vinegar

Fill sterilized wide neck bottle or jar with rosemary. Fill to top with vinegar. Cover tightly and place in sunny spot for 4-6 weeks. Filter through coffee filter and discard rosemary. Heat vinegar to simmer but not boil. Pour vinegar into fresh sterilized bottle. Add fresh sprig of rosemary (or 2) to decorate, then seal. Use within 1 year.

Green Beans with Sauteed Mushrooms (and Rosemary and Basil) (The Lighthearted Cookbook ISBN 1-55013-068-4)

¾ lb fresh green beans 1 tbsp margarine 1 clove garlic minced
2 tsp chopped fresh basil (½ tsp dried)
¼ tsp dried crumbled rosemary (about 1 tsp fresh)
8 med sized mushrooms, sliced dash hot pepper sauce

In saucepan of boiling water cook beans 6-8 min until tender-crisp (I myself prefer steaming them) then drain. In separate saucepan, melt margarine and add remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Transfer beans to warm serving dish and pour mushroom mix on top, toss to mix. Serves 4.

Rosemary Hair Tonic (Complete Book of Herbs ISBN 1-85967-011-3)

1 c fresh Rosemary tips
5 c bottled water

Combine in saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer approximately 20 min, then allow to cool in pan. Strain and store in clean bottle. Use after shampooing.
This is supposed to control oily hair, and enhance shine and natural color.

(I wouldn't know, my hair can't remember what its 'natural' color is supposed to be, heh heh heh) - the only problem is the book doesn't say if you rince your hair with water after the rosemary rince...I am under the impression that you DON'T rince with water after, which should make your hair smell pretty neat all day. It shouldn't hurt your hair if you leave it on, and it shouldn't leave any residue so your hair should feel as normal. But, try it and see. Just don't sue me, I'm poor.


Hey Mindy-
The rosemary rinse is the last thing on your residue. Also it is good in a bath or in your soap if you have arthritis. I read that the University of Cincinati has proven thatstroking rosemary triggers the memory responses in the brain...Maybe Hamlet was right... I should carry it with me all the time. I also use it in my anti-snore potpouri and moth repellants...but rosemary is one of my favorites, I can't imagine chicken or lamb without it.

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