How The Heck Do I Use Rosemary Anyways?

We've all stumbled on an article about some awesome herb. We've read about how good it is for you, how it will turn you into a free-radical scavenging ninja, give you brains like Einstein, reverse the aging process, or at the very least, make your food taste amazing. We buy it, or if it grows in our garden, we pluck it, bring it into the kitchen, then stare at it wondering what we're going to do with it. Beside the one or two things we know, how else can we use it?

I am going to give you a list and some choice recipes that will keep you happily using rosemary for a long time to come, and hopefully enlightened in its varied uses and multiple possibilities. 

rosemary, salt, garlic and olive oil.jpg
  1. Use extra rosemary sprigs to make flavored olive oil.
  2. Mix it into softened butter with salt, pepper and crushed garlic and make a rosemary compound butter to use on - everything. 
  3. Mix it with Greek yogurt or good mayonnaise for a creamy sandwich spread.
  4. Add it to the marinade when you cook chicken, beef, fish, turkey, even roasted veggies. Here's a great, all-purpose recipe thats downloadable. 
  5. Try it with roasted cauliflower.
  6. A perfect marriage with potatoes. Potatoes love rosemary.
  7. Awesome with potato and kale.
  8. A great sturdy herb for encrusting. Add panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs, parmesan, etc. 
  9. Rosemary twigs are generally superior to toothpicks, and should be applied in similar roles where possible.
  10. Same goes for skewers. Try getting some long branches, with your fingers running in the opposite direction remove most of the middle/end leaves and skewer veggies and meats onto it leaving a nice green head. 
  11. Rosemary and practically any cheese go together superbly. 
  12. Add it to goat cheese. Yum.
  13. Try making a gluten free mac n’ cheese with rosemary.
  14. Make rosemary potato chips.
  15. Make rosemary gluten free crackers.
  16. Make a figgy ricotta sandwich. Add prosciutto.
  17. Try throwing rosemary into almost any soup/stew/thing you eat for dinner.
  18. It can make chickpeas and gluten-free elbows taste downright exotic.
  19. It can make whatever’s-in-the-pantry pasta seem totally planned out.
  20. It’s an herb that will play nice in lots of baked goods, both savory and sweet.
  21. Add it to basically any lemon dessert and wow people with your herbal innovation.
  22. You can even use rosemary as an ice cream mix-in.
  23. You can infuse simple syrup with rosemary and add it to all kinds of drinks. The recipe's on the right.
  24. With this delicious simple syrup make a lemonade!
  25. Make a salt scrub to invigorate and cleanse the body !

Simple Syrup with Rosemary


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs


Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a cruet or airtight container, discarding rosemary sprigs. Cover and chill 4 hours. Garnish, if desired. Syrup may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month.

Orange Rosemary Salt Scrub

  • 1 cup salt - Himalayan is best
  • zest of one orange (or lemon)
  • 1tsp. rosemary leaves taken off the stem
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

In a food processor, place the orange zest, rosemary and salt.  Pulse a couple times until the rosemary is copped finely.  Pour in the olive oil and pulse a couple times more.  Store in a jar or airtight container.  To use the scrub, wet your hands or entire body with warm water, then in gentle circular motions rub the salt scrub.  Rinse completely with warm water.  Pat skin dry.

One of my all-time favorite marinades that can be used for just about everything is here -

A recipe that will have people begging for more is my Hassleback Potatoes. Normally done with russets, they can certainly be done with sweet potatoes as well. 

We all love salmon and try to eat it at least once a week to get those healthy omega-3's in. But sometimes we can get stuck on new ways to prepare it. Here's a recipe that includes all kinds of wonderful ingredients that are so good for us. And the taste is supurb!

Back in my chef days a book I couldn't live without was The Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. The book brilliantly gives you all the flavor affinities for most food items. Here is their contribution on the subject of rosemary. Those in bold have the strongest affinities.

  • anchovies
  • apples
  • apricots
  • asparagus
  • bacon
  • baked goods (e.g., breads, cakes, cookies, crackers)
  • bay leaf
  • BEANS, esp. dried, fava, white, green
  • beef
  • bell peppers
  • bouquet garni (key ingredient)
  • braised dishes
  • breads
  • Brussels sprouts
  • butter
  • cabbage
  • carrots cauliflower
  • celery
  • chicken, esp. grilled
  • chives
  • cream
  • cream cheese
  • duck
  • eggs and egg dishes
  • eggplant
  • fennel
  • figs
  • FISH, esp. grilled
  • focaccia
  • French cuisine, esp. Provençal
  • fruit
  • game: rabbit, venison
  • gin
  • grains 
  • grapefruit: juice, zest
  • grapes
  • grilled dishes, esp. meats, vegetables
  • herbs de Provence (key ingredient)
  • honey
  • *LAMB
  • lavender
  • lemon:juice, zest
  • lemon verbena
  • lentils
  • lime: juice, zest
  • liver
  • mackerel
  • marinades
  • marjoram
  • MEATS, esp. grilled, roasted
  • Mediterranean cuisine
  • milk
  • mint
  • mushrooms
  • mussels
  • octopus
  • orange: juice, zest
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • parsnips
  • pasta
  • pears
  • peas
  • pepper, black
  • pizza
  • polenta
  • PORK
  • potatoes
  • poultry
  • radicchio
  • rice
  • risotto
  • roasted meats
  • sage
  • salmon
  • sardines
  • sauces
  • savory
  • scallops, esp. grilled
  • shellfish
  • sherry
  • shrimp
  • soups
  • spinach
  • squash: summer, winter
  • steaks
  • stews
  • strawberries
  • sweet potatoes
  • swordfish
  • thyme
  • TOMATOES, tomato juice, tomato sauce
  • tuna
  • vegetables, esp. grilled
  • zucchini

Flavor Affinities

  • rosemary + anchovies + garlic
  • rosemary + butter + lemon
  • rosemary + garlic + lamb
  • rosemary + garlic + lemon
  • rosemary + garlic + wine
  • rosemary + onions + potatoes
  • rosemary + Parmesan cheese + polenta
  • rosemary + pork + sherry

What are some of your favorite ways of using rosemary? I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment on this blog and let me know which ones you think you'll try. What sounded the yummiest to you?