Cooking

The bruised leaves of rosemary have a cooling pinelike scent, with mint and eucalyptus overtones, and the strong taste can overwhelm other flavors if used too generously. It complements similarly strong flavors such as wine and garlic; starchy foods (bread, scones, potatoes); rich meats such as lamb, pork, duck and game; vegetables such as eggplants, zucchini and brassicas; and is also used in sausages, stuffings, soups

An herb o^ ^cocfness

Rosemary has a strong association with the Virgin Mary. It is said that, when the Holy family was fleeing from Herod's soldiers. Mary spread her blue cloak over a white-flowering rosemary bush to dry, but when she removed the cloak, the white flowers had turned blue in her honor. Also associated with ancient magical lore, rosemary was often called Elf Leaf.' arid bunches of it were hung around houses to keep thieves and w itches out and to prevent fairies from entering and stealing infants.

and stews, or steeped in vinegaror olive oil to flavor them.

The leaves have a rather woody texture, so use them finely chopped. Alternatively, use whole sprigs, or tie leaves in a square of muslin, and remove just before serving. Dried rosemary has a flavor similar to that of fresh, but its very hard texture may not soften, even on long cooking.

Rosemary is popular in Italian cookery. Make a simple and delicious pizza topping with thinly sliced potatoes, crushed garlic and chopped fresh rosemary leaves.

You can crystallize the flowers of rosemary with egg white and caster sugar (see page 380)

St. John's wort

Hypericum perforatum Clusiaceae (Guttiferae)

Traditionally, golden-flowered St. John's wort was hung over entrances and cast on midsummer fires as an herb of great protection and purification. Ttoday. it is still the symbol of midsummer solstice celebrations in Kurope.

Part used Flowering tops

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