Friday, July 31, 2015

Seed to Table Series-Rosemary

Welcome to our Summer Series,
Seed to Table.
Every Friday, we'll explore a different crop
that you can grow in your own garden.
Whether you're in mid-harvest, already looking ahead to your fall garden,
 or just thinking about growing your own,
we hope this series inspires you.
We'll begin with planting from seed or seedling,
and end up with a scratch recipe. 


Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs.
It's great used in cooking, sure, 
but did you know it has other uses?
We use it in closets, drawers and cabinets
to keep that stale smell at bay.
We also strip the leaves, throw them on the carpet 
and then vacuum them up.
Instant room deodorizer!
It's been known to be used medicinally as well.
Rosemary reminds me of my late momma.
She used it in all kinds of dishes.
Whenever I get a whiff, I think of Mimi.

If grown from seed, germination can be expected
within 2-4 weeks.
 Seed Savers Exchange carries non-GMO seed,
if you can't find it locally.
Seeds can be started indoors under lights,
or outside after frost dates in early spring.

For less than $3, you'll never need to buy seed again,
 because cuttings are easily rooted in soil.
Transplants do well when provided with ample water and sun.

Rosemary is not too particular.
As long as it is in a spot that's well-drained, it's happy.
It is fairly drought-tolerant,
which makes it an excellent option for those facing dry times throughout the country.

This aromatic beauty adores being grown in full sun,
but will tolerate some shade.
It can be grown as a low hedge,
as it gets to be 3-4 feet tall.
I wish I had thought to use it as a border
in our backyard when we first moved here.
What a wonderfully fragrant privacy hedge!

This pollinator attractor is enjoyed by bees, 
butterflies, wasps,
as well as hummingbirds.
The deep, blue blossoms arrive in spring
and stay all season long.
It's best to wait until the flowers fade
to do any desired pruning.

New cuttings can be used to flavor everything from bean soup to poultry dishes.
Keeping them intact makes them easier to remove
when it's time to serve your savory dish.
The fresh sprigs can even be used as skewers when grilling.
Just remove the lower portion of leaves on the stem
and pierce the veggies onto the stem to infuse them with flavor.

The dried version is often used to spice up meats, veggies, 
and can even be used in desserts, like these Rosemary Butter Cookies.
 Drying this versatile herb couldn't be easier.
Simply cut stems, tie bundles together with twine
or a rubberband, and hang upside-down in a room
that doesn't get too much light.
Check it after a couple of weeks
and then store the leaves in a glass jar.
Here's a wonderful recipe for relishing
your fresh or dried rosemary!

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds small red or white-skinned potatoes 
(or a mixture)
1/8 cup good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves

(We sometimes add a bit of steak seasoning to our taters.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary.
Toss until the potatoes are well coated. 
Dump the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out into 1 layer.  
Roast in the oven for at least 1 hour, 
or until browned and crisp. 
Turn twice during cooking to ensure even browning.

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