Ahhh Rosemary… One of my favorite herbs. “Rosemary” is derived from Latin words “ros” and “marinus”, which mean “dew of the sea” or “mist of the sea”. It refers to the coastal region that is occupied by this plant in it’s wild form. As the days get shorter and the warm temperatures dwindle in early fall, the Rosemary in the garden is still going strong and one of the last herbs to continue giving to my garden. My inner poet can’t help but consider it the most royal of the garden, growing and giving until the very end. Perhaps this is why Rosemary is a symbol of loyalty and love. In certain parts of the world, bride, groom and their guests wear branches of rosemary during wedding ceremonies. During the English Tudor era, Rosemary symbolized fidelity, and brides would give sprigs of Rosemary to bridegroom as a tradition.
The history of Rosemary is fascinating and for centuries it was used to enhance memory. Recent studies suggest rosemary may sharpen memory and brain function and suggest it’s use for Alzheimer’s patients. Shakespeare may have agreed. In “Hamlet,” Ophelia waxes poetic about rosemary as she descends into madness. “There’s Rosemary, that’s for Remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” It’s also believed ancient Greeks wore rosemary in their hair to fortify their memory. The association between rosemary and memory has persisted throughout history. Personally, I love the the poetic history of the mist of the sea. Sir Thomas More wrote: “I lett it runne all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and therefore to friendship.”
For the last harvest of our historical herb, I wanted to celebrate this beautiful woodsy herb with the bittersweet nutty flavor and create a menu that highlights it’s fabulous fragrance!
Orange blossom Rosemary Gin Cocktail
Chopped kale salad with tomato, avocado, onion and lemon
Rosemary infused olive oil