Rosemary stands strong against the onslaught of winter wind and ice. It's the one herb you can rely on for freshness this time of year, and its bracing, piney pungency holds its own against the savory richness of the season's braises and stews. Rosemary is rich in iron, vitamin A, B vitamins and vitamin C.
An evergreen shrub and Mediterranean mainstay, rosemary is a member of the aromatic mint family. The Greeks said it prevented nightmares if you slept with it under your pillow; it was burned to prevent the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages; and American Indians believed that it could cure baldness. Ancient Egyptians placed rosemary on tombstones, and Ophelia, in Shakespeare's Hamlet, said the herb was for remembranc
The best way to keep rosemary is to grow it outside of your kitchen door to use as you need it. It needs little attention (and thrives in drought conditions); a 3-inch plant can become a 3-foot shrub by the second year. Once cut, place rosemary sprigs in a glass of water (as you would cut flowers) on the counter to preserve freshness and to scent your kitchen.
Anna Goes to Town
Saison shared this flavorful, punch-style cocktail that includes oleo saccharum, a 19th-century
flavoring ingredient made with citrus oil and sugar.
1 ounce of Citadelle gin
3/4 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounces of Cocchi Rosa
1/4 ounce of citrus-rosemary oleo saccharum*
1 ounce of Cava or other sparkling wine
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and double strain into a chilled punch glass. Top with chilled Cava.
*Citrus-Rosemary Oleo Saccharum
Zest of 1 grapefruit
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup of sugar
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Place the ingredients in a jar and allow them to sit sealed at room temperature for at least 24 hours, until the citrus oil is extracted from the zest, the rosemary releases its perfume and the sugar is mostly dissolved. Strain.