Saturday, 4 December 2010

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Rosemary/Rosmarin/迷迭香[mí dié xiāng]


Directions:
Quickly rinse rosemary under cool running water and pat dry. Most recipes call for rosemary leaves, which can be easily removed from the stem and diced.

I usually just dice the whole stem and leaves and sprinkle them onto beef-steaks before grilling them on the pan.

I also sprinkle diced rosemary (leaves and stem together) onto salmon and bake them in the oven. If I have the time, I will take the salmon out of the oven during the last 5-10 minutes and sprinkle the rosemary. In this way, it gives time for the salmon to absorb the flavour of the rosemary, but keeping the herb green and not too baked after coming out of the oven.

Alternatively, you can add the whole sprig to season soups, stews and meat dishes, then simply remove it before serving.

Tips:
1. Add fresh rosemary to omelettes and frittatas.

2. Use rosemary to season chicken, lamb, port, salmon and tuna dishes.

3. Add rosemary to tomato sauces and soups.

4. Pound or blend fresh rosemary leaves with olive oil and use as a dressing for salad or dipping sauce for bread. If you wish, add a little bit of salt (see next picture).

5. Wash and soak the whole stalk of rosemary with leaves into a bottle of olive oil to give flavour to the olive oil (see next picture).

Nutritional Value:
Rosemary is a good source of the minerals iron and calcium, as well as dietary fiber. Fresh has 25% more manganese (which is somehow lost in the process of drying) and a 40% less calcium and iron, probably due to the higher water content.

Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. Rosemary has been historically used for strengthening the memory, is unforgettable.

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Additional Comments:
Rosemary grows on a small evergreen shrub. Although rosemary is native to the Mediterranean, it now grows throughout much of the temperate regions in Europe and America. Rosemary has been a prized seasoning and natural medicine for millennia. Part of rosemary's popularity came from the widespread belief that rosemary stimulated and strengthened the memory, a quality for which it is still traditionally used. In ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams, and mourners would also throw the fragrant herb into the grave of the deceased as a symbol of remembrance. In olde England, rosemary's ability to fortify the memory transformed it into a symbol of fidelity, and it played an important role in the costumes, decorations and gifts used at weddings.

Whenever possible, choose fresh rosemary over the dried form of the herb since it is far superior in flavor. The springs of fresh rosemary should look vibrantly fresh and should be deep sage green in color, and free from yellow or dark spots.
Rosemary is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines.

References:
http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=75

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