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Rosemary is the comforting companion of the Sunday roast or crunchy spud, but there are plenty of ways to jazz up your sprigs and also reap the rewards.
Hot entertaining tip: Place multiple bunches of rosemary (and other herbs) in jars in the centre of your table. Ask each guest to take home a herb of their choosing and voila! No wastage and a divine way to jazz up your table setting with some fresh and sweet-smelling herbs - it's a win-win!
Here are five wonderful ways to pop an extra spring in your rose-mary step.
Your next barbecue or grilling affair definitely needs an infusion of rosemary. Rather than chopping it up into a marinade or alongside your veg, use the sprigs as skewers - a really fun, easy way to grill and add a little extra flavour. I often like to thread mine with Padron peppers, capsicum and red onion.
I like to sugar rosemary and basil leaves for decoration.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, place:
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ¾ cup water
Do not boil. Remove from the heat and lightly coat each rosemary sprig in the pan one at a time until coated. Using tongs or a slotted spoon transfer the sprigs onto a baking paper-lined tray and let it cool and dry for 30-40 minutes.
Once cooled, place 1 cup of sugar in a shallow bowl and gently roll or generously dust each sprig in caster sugar and set aside for a couple of hours or overnight to dry before using them as your cake toppers or drink decorations.
Here's one Leanne Kitchen prepared earlier. A layered honey & walnut cake.
Not just for the roast-hearted, our Bakeproof baker, Anneka Manning has a superb recipe for speculaas (Dutch spiced cookies). They are spice-laden, buttery and crumbly and for a great imprint idea, on this or any plain vanilla or citrusy butter biscuit that your heart desires, gently press the small leaves from your rosemary sprigs into your biscuit dough before baking.
Simply adding spices to your everyday jar of honey can give it a whole new life and bring a little savoury and citrusy element to your pancakes and fruity compotes, as well as your glazed meats and vegetables. Oh, the possibilities!
To make this orange and rosemary-infused honey, heat a small saucepan and combine:
- 200 ml honey
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 orange, peel only
Bring it to a boil, once it is bubbling lower and simmer for 5 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature. You can strain the honey, but I often leave everything in there, especially if I'm using it readily. Great for drizzling over stone fruits and fresh meringues.
Shaken, not stirred
In a large mason jar, put:
- 700 ml gin, dry
- 6 sprigs rosemary
- 1 lemon, peel only
Seal tightly and leave in a cool place for 7 days to infuse. Watch the colour change and then on day 7 remove your sprigs and peel and keep the gin in a bottle/jar in a cool place as you would any other alcohol. This makes a great gift idea and infused gin makes for a great G&T or a gin fizz cocktail (see below):
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, shake:
- 60 ml gin
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sugar syrup or maple syrup
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