|Rosemary - The Piney Herb - Mmmmmm
|Native to the Mediterranean regions, Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant,
evergreen, needle-like leaves. Its name is derived from the Latin name rosmarinus, which
is from "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea" because in many locations it
needs no other water than the humidity carried by the sea breeze to live. Because of it
heartiness, it also grows well in almost any hot environment, including the hot Arizona
desert which is why it is commonly used in landscaping in the Southwest, not to mention my
Rosemary has a wonderful pine-like fragrant flavor balanced by a rich pungency, a
combination that evokes both the forest and the sea. Its memorable flavor and unique
health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen.
Whenever possible, choose fresh rosemary over the dried form of the herb because it is far
superior in flavor. The sprigs of fresh rosemary should look vibrantly fresh and should be
deep sage green in color and free from yellow or dark spots. Store your rosemary in the
refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. Dried rosemary should be kept in a
tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six
months. Also, consider buying a rosemary plant; you will not only have fresh rosemary on
hand, but will also save money by not paying $2.00 for one of those tiny herb packets each
time you need some.
When using fresh rosemary, give the sprigs a quick rinse under cool running water and pat
dry. Most recipes that contain rosemary call for rosemary leaves. Leaves are easily
removed from the stem by stripping the leaves off the stem by pulling the sprig through
your fingers in the opposite direction of the natural growth of the leaves. Then, simply run
a knife through the leaves until the leaves are finely minced. Alternatively, you can add the
whole sprig to season soups, stews and meat dishes and then simply remove it before
serving. You should add this herb early in the cooking process to extract the greatest
amount of flavor.
rosemary + butter + lemon
rosemary + garlic + lamb
rosemary + garlic + wine
rosemary + garlic + lemon
rosemary + onions + potatoes
rosemary + Parmesan cheese + polenta
Gluten-free Parmesan-Rosemary Polenta
Try this recipe. I enjoy the polenta most after it has “set,” allowing me to slice and pan sear
it, right before I pour my red Italian sauce over it and garnish it with shaved Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for grilling or sautéing if desired
¾ cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon freshly minced rosemary
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 1/3 cup polenta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces Parmesan, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large oven-safe saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and
salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and rosemary, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, making
sure the garlic does not burn.
Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the polenta
(cornmeal) while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the polenta, cover the
pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to
prevent lumps. Once the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt
and pepper. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan. Remember,
Parmesan cheese is very salty; exercise caution when adding any salt.
Serve as is, or pour the polenta into a 9 by 13-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper.
Place in the refrigerator to cool completely. Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting
board and cut into squares, rounds or triangles. Brush each side with olive oil and sauté in
a nonstick skillet over medium heat, or grill.
Chef David Hall
Copyright 2011, Thyme for a Chef, LLC. All rights reserved.