Brainy Gourmet

Brainy Gourmet
The Doctor is into Delicious!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Benefits of Rosemary

I have always liked the taste and smell of fresh or dried rosemary; but, I had no idea that it had so many interesting and healthful attributes. Recently, in 'Mother Earth Living' magazine, I read about all the benefits of rosemary. This year, I finally able to plant my own rosemary in the garden and took a pot of it into the basement before the frost. I have been able to keep it going and still able to harvest and dry the herb for cooking pleasure.
As the author of the magazine article put it I too love to run my hand through the branches and take a deep breath of its dewy sea fragrance. Rosemary's botanical name is Rosmarinus officinalis which means 'dew of the sea' probably linked to its native Mediterranean habitat. When I was in Italy, I used it everyday and I still do in all my cooking from soup to sauce and even in tea. The best though is barbecued chicken with fresh rosemary. I prepared this once while at the Villa of San Martino in Vicchio Italy. I was staying at the villa participating in a sculptor workshop and commune art experience getting credit toward my Fine Art degree. Aside of being a student of the sculpture process, I also conducted a photo documentary of the entire 3 months of my stay that summer of 97; the year my first granddaughter was born. It was also required that students do the cooking and cleaning. One beautiful Sunday, I decided to make a more American dish - barbecued chicken. I used the upper salon kitchen with a wood-burning stove to cook the barbecued chicken with fresh rosemary in. The smell filled the entire 30+ room villa with its adjacent chapel and large inner courtyard.To say the least, it was a splendid dinner in Tuscany.
Growing rosemary is easy and also easy to harvest and dry. Besides providing wonderful flavor to just about anything you cook it also is touted as a brain booster and memory aid, a hair growth tonic, anti inflammatory effective and numerous other health benefits. This coming Thanksgiving, I plan to cook beef sirloin with Rosemary Portobello Gravy, my all time favorite gravy, great on baked butternut squash or sweet potatoes.


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