What’s in the garden ?

Today it’s all about Rosemary. I think I’ve been inspired by my chat with Andy to find out a bit more about this gorgeously versatile Mediterranean herb.

Fragrant and feisty. This hardy herb is so easy to grow, and so useful in the kitchen.

Five facts about Rosemary

1.Wild Rosemary can be found on the cliff tops of Greece, France and Italy

2.Ancient Greeks believed that Rosemary could strengthen memory, a belief that persists today, with newspapers reporting record sales amongst keen students in 2016.

3.It is used in herbal medicine to cur baldness, toothache and headaches.

4. Rosemary is said to have been its name after a a story in which the Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush. When she removed it, the flowers had turned blue, which led to the shrub being know as  “Rose of Mary”.

5. Whilst it’s Mediterranean origins mean Rosemary is extremely drought resistant, careful watering is essential during the first year of growth, to allow the root system to mature.

Henry making sure the Rosemary supply doesn’t dry up !

We’re all familiar with Rosemary as part of our traditional roast dinner, but it has a host of other uses. Used creatively alongside unusual cuts, such as lamb belly it helps cut through the rich flavour of the lamb, giving a unique balance to the finished dish.  It also works in less traditional dishes, such as Moroccan braised lamb, combining complex layering of  Moroccan spices  and fragrant Rosemary gives an aromatic finesse, and showcases the marriage between Moorish and Mediterranean cuisine. One of my favourite ways to enjoy rosemary though is in a simple foccacia. For me it makes me think of long lazy lunches, holidays, and most importantly, sunshine.

Here’s the recipe, along with a photo of one I made earlier. I think it’s turned out quite well !

Fabulous Foccacia

Ingredients:

1kg Bread Flour/Strong flour                        1tbsp Virgin Olive oil

250g Potato mashed                                     5 Red Onions

15g Yeast                                                     6 Cloves garlic

750ml Water                                                 2oz Rosemary leaves

15g Salt

 

Method:

  1. Dilute yeast to paste with some water.
  2. Place flour, potato & salt in bowl
  3. Pour in wet ingredients and beat with a wooden spoon
  4. Cover dough and place in a warm area to rise – approx 1 hr
  1. When double in volume pour onto well oiled tray
  2. Slice 5 red onions and 6 cloves of garlic, sweat with 2oz of Rosemary leaves until tender
  3. When dough on tray has risen to about 1 inch in height tuck onion mixture into dough, sprinkle with salt flakes
  4. Bake at 185oC for approx 40 minutes

Good enough to eat !

 

 

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