Our rosemary has bushed out into a wild, gargantuan organism growing in our yard. I think it’s approximately 3 feet high and 4 feet in diameter. It. Is. Huge.
I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this beautiful rosemary bush and I’m planning on using every single bit of it. I can only dry so much of it so I’ve been hunting for ways to utilize it. So, if you have a monstrous rosemary bush, take note of some of these ideas and pin them for later.
By the way, rosemary is incredibly good for you. According to Medical News Today, the health benefits of rosemary include:
- Improving digestion
- Enhancing memory and concentration
- Neurological protection
- Prevent brain aging
- Protection against macular degeneration
- Rosemary Salt. Pull the rosemary leaves from the stem to make 1 cup. Add it to 3 cups of salt. Stir it all together and let it sit for approximately 2 weeks, covered. This creates an infused rosemary salt that can be used on any number of dishes.
- Rosemary infused olive oil. Pour two cups of olive oil into a small pot. Bring to a slight simmer. Turn it off and remove it from the head. Wash and COMPLETELY dry 3 or 4 rosemary sprigs into a clean jar. Pour the oil into the jar with the rosemary sprigs. The longer you let it sit the stronger the infusion is.
- Rosemary honey. Add 5 rosemary sprigs (each about 3 inches long) to one cup of honey in a small pot. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let is steep for about 45 minutes. Remove rosemary and pour the honey into a small container. Use on toast, drizzle over goat cheese or brie or use as a sweetener in tea.
- Rosemary Simple Sugar. Bring one cup of water to a boil. Add two cups of sugar and 3 or 4 rosemary sprigs. Stir until the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat. Remove the rosemary sprigs. Pour the simple sugar into a jar. To use, drizzle it on fresh fruit or add it to smoothies. Or, for something sweeter, drizzle it over a sponge cake, bundt cake or angel food cake for a delicate twist.
- Rosemary Jelly. I’ve seen quite a few rosemary jelly recipes. Some require vinegar and others are just jellies with sugar (which I prefer). I’ll be making this one soon from Bernardin. Try it on breads, chicken, fish or even lamb.
- Skewers. When grilling chicken (think kabobs), we used rosemary stems as skewers. The stems infused flavor into the chicken plus the smoke from the grill was amazing. We’ll definitely do this again.
- Rosemary Infused Vinegar. Jeanne at www.myownlabels.com has directions for making Rosemary Infused Vinegar. This is another recipe I’ll be using this year!
- Rosemary Lemonade. Bring two cups and 1/2 cup of sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add 9 sprigs of rosemary to the pot and let it steep for 30 minutes. Strain and combine with 1/2 cup of lemon juice and four cups cold water. Chill. Taste test. Add more sugar or water as necessary.
- Freeze the herbs for later use. Wash and dry the rosemary leaves (after removing them from the stems). Chop into small pieces. Using an ice tray, fill each tray with rosemary leaves. Fill the tray with water and freeze. When frozen, pop out the rosemary ice cubes and store in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Remove one or two cubes when ready to use them (toss them, gently, into soups, stews, or thaw and use in marinades).
- Rosemary Butter. Soften a stick of real butter (do not melt). Meanwhile, wash and dry rosemary, removing the leaves from the stems. Dice into small pieces and blend with the butter until well combined. Use on breads or meats or slathered on crackers.
- Rosemary Pesto. You’ll need the following ingredients: 1 cup fresh rosemary, stems removed; 2 garlic cloves, diced; 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (toasted pecans or walnuts can be substituted); 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated; 1/4 cup olive oil; 1/2 teaspoon salt; freshly ground black pepper, about 5 turns of pepper mill. Directions: process rosemary, nuts, parmesan cheese and garlic pulsing until everything is finely chopped and blended together. While the processor is running, stream in olive oil. Remove to a small bowl and stir in salt and fresh ground pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Stir well before using.
- Rosemary sachets. Sew simple bags to hold a bundle of dry rosemary leaves. Or, skip the sewing step and simply cut fabric into large squares with pinking shears. Lay the rosemary bundle in the middle. Bring the sides together and secure with a ribbon. Place the sachets in drawers, closets, or around the house.
- Gifts. Dry the rosemary (takes several weeks). Separate the dry leaves from the stems, divide into pretty jars (or re-use old spice jars), make labels and give as gifts.
- Dryer Sheets. Take a small drawstring bag and fill with dried rosemary sprigs. Throw this in the dryer with freshly washed clothes for a great way to naturally scent your laundry. You could even add dried lavender to this sachet.
- Orange Rosemary Salt Scrub. You’ll need 1 cup salt, zest of 1 orange, 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves and 1/3 cup olive oil. I saw this recipe from www.Oleanderandpalm.com. I think this would be amazing on your hands (or feet for that matter).
- Rosemary Tincture. Stuff a small jar with fresh rosemary. Cover the rosemary with everclear by one inch. Tighten the lid and store in a dark place for 4-6 weeks. Shake it every two or three days. When the time has elapsed, strain the mixture through cheesecloth. Store the rosemary tincture in an amber bottle. To use, adults can take 2 ml a day three times a day.
- Rosemary Insect Repellent. The Marathon Mom has a great recipe for Rosemary Insect Repellent. Since we live in Texas we are inundated with insects for most of the year. On my to-do list to make this year!
- Rosemary Hair Rinse. 1/2 cup dried rosemary and 1/2 cup olive oil. Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until it is warm. Remove from the heat and let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and pour into a small bottle. Coat your hair with the mixture. Cover your hair with a shower cap for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and wash as normal with shampoo.
- Rosemary Facial Toner. Mix 6 sprigs of fresh or dried rosemary with 2/3 cup of dried rose petals and 4 cups of witch hazel. Strain the mixture into an airtight container and discard the herbs. Wash your face and splash on a bit of rosemary facial toner.
- Rosemary & Lemon Bath Salts. Combine 2 cups epsom salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary; finely chopped, 6-8 drops lemon essential oil, 2-3 tbsp lemon zest (optional). In a bowl combine epsom salt and baking soda. Add in half of the essential oil drops, mix, then add in the remaining drops. Mix in the chopped rosemary and lemon zest. Store in an airtight container.