Nutritious & Delicious Rosemary
Rosemary, native to the Mediterranean region, has been used as a medicinal herb since 500 B.C. to strengthen memory, improve circulation, aid in digestion, and heal wounds. In the 17th century, rosemary became popular as a digestive aid in apothecaries throughout Europe. During World War II, French medics burned an herbal mixture of rosemary and juniper berries in their field hospitals. This practice, dating back to the Middle Ages, was believed to prevent infection. Today, many herbalists prescribe rosemary to improve brain function and digestion.
Recent studies have found that rosemary extract may slow the breakdown of acetylcholine, a key brain chemical involved in memory and thinking. This brain chemical also plays a role in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. Other research has focused on carnosic acid, an antioxidant found in rosemary that may work as an anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic agent. In addition, rosemary is a source of nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin A, and folate.
Rosemary is used often in Italian and Greek cooking. The small, green needle-shaped leaves have a piney, slightly lemony flavor that goes well with chicken, beef, and beans, as well as many vegetables and grains. Fresh rosemary is generally better to use when cooking, as the flavor is brighter and the leaves are not as sharp and prickly as the dried version. It is best to use only a small amount of the chopped herb in dishes to achieve a subtle flavor. Too much rosemary will overpower the dish with its piney scent and taste. Try rubbing a small amount of chopped rosemary on beef, lamb or poultry before cooking or sprinkle some rosemary on vegetables before roasting.
Incorporate a tablespoon or two of rosemary into your cooking to reap many health and flavor benefits!
This article was submitted by Jackie Topol, RD, Clinical Dietitian at NYP/Weill Cornell.
- Sustainable Eating Cookbook
- Eat Smart for Your Heart Cookbook
- Nutrition During Cancer Treatment
- NYP BeHealthy Cookbook
- Harvest Chicken Salad
- Mozzarella Roulade with Arugula SaladV
- Cioppino over Pasta
- Cilantro Chicken TikkaGF
- Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro and Cucumber Crema
- Moroccan Chicken with Chickpea and Lentil StewGF
- Rosemary Garlic Chicken over Whole Wheat Penne
- Lime, Garlic and Oregano Mojo Grilled Chicken GF
- Grilled Salmon with Warm Mint Pineapple Salsa GF
- Herbed Chicken Cutlets with Mint GF
- Baked Halibut Sitka with Dill and Cucumber Salad GF
- Dill Garlic Salmon GF
- Pan Seared Striped Bass With Asian Dill Slaw GF
- Rosemary and Lemon Pan Seared Chicken Breast GF
- Pan Seared Rosemary Salmon Skewers GF
- Portobello and Spinach Bolognese V
- Summer Chicken Stir Fry With Brown RiceGF
- Chicken Quesadilla with Pico de Gallo
- Turkey Burger
- Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken GF
- Spinach, Zucchini and Walnut Pasta V
Sandwiches & Wraps
- Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pita
- Heart Healthy and Planet Friendly Black Bean Burrito V
- Sweet Potato Portobello Mushroom Wrap with Savory Yogurt Dressing V
- Heart Healthy Turkey Cranberry Sandwich
- Heart-Healthy Avocado Pita Pocket V
- Fruity Chicken Salad Wrap with Acorn Squash Salad
- Gazpacho V
- Butternut Squash and Sage Soup V, GF
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Caribbean Chicken Soup GF
- Chunky Roasted Vegetable Chili V, GF
- Sofrito V, GF
What the letters mean...
- V = vegetarian recipe
- GF = gluten-free recipe