Celebrity tv chef Gino D’Acampo gave a big thumbs up to growing your own rosemary on itv’s ‘This morning’ show. Whilst whipping up a risotto he suggested adding rosemary but not dried, not even a packaged sprig from the supermarket, but a wholesome, freshly picked snippet from your own garden, or windowsill. Fabulous! I love it when a cook appreciates the garden, the basis of all good food.
Rosemary is easy to grow and, because it is evergreen, available to use all year round. Rosemary officinalis and Mrs Jessops Upright are good garden varieties producing highly aromatic needle-like leaves and small blue flowers early in the year. Plant rosemary in well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered spot and it will thrive. Plant it also where it is accessible, close to a path perhaps where it will release its tantalising aroma whenever you brush past.
Finely chopped leaves add flavour to meat, casseroles and vegetable dishes. A sprig of rosemary infused in hot water makes a restorative tea, especially for hangovers.
Sprinkle flowers on ice-cream for a decorative garnish.
Where space is limited grow rosemary in a terracotta pot. ‘Blue Lagoon’ has arching stems and stunning blue flowers. ‘Boule’ has more of a trailing habit and will tumble over the side of a pot.
And finally just why is it that ‘Love grows where my rosemary goes’? It could down to an old tradition at weddings whereby sprigs of rosemary were tied with gold ribbons and given to guests as favours, symbolising love and faithfulness.
Or it’s just a dodgy line from the one hit wonder, Edison Lighthouse.
‘She ain’t got no money, Her clothes are kinda funny, Her hair is kinda wild and free.Oh but love grows etc etc. And from that description I think I should change my name to Rosemary!