Rosemary Love

If there's one thing that will make your cooking better, that's using fresh herbs. Adding fresh herbs to dishes makes even the most simplest of food taste and look so much better. During the summer, I always have herbs growing in the garden. It's something I miss all winter. So in the fall, I take my favorite ones and try my best to at least preserve some of them. It's the next best thing to fresh. 

My favorite herb is rosemary. I put it in everything I can. This year I planted three varieties. On the far left is Cascade. It had small, tender leaves. In the middle is common rosemary. I grew very large and the stems got very woody. It is very fragrant. On the far right is Tuscan Blue rosemary. It was a bit more compact and bushy. All had a very good flavor.
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I freeze it to use all winter. It's very easy to do and when frozen looses very little flavor. When fall comes, I clip off the branches, wash them and lay them on papers towels to dry. 

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After they are dry, I start pulling the leaves off the stems. This is easy if you hold the top of the stem with one hand and pinch the stem with your thumb and index finger of the other hand while running it down the stem against the way the rosemary grows. The leaves will just slide off. 
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After I get all the leaves off, I cover the leaves in olive oil. 
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There are numerous ways you could freeze it. You could put it in small containers, really small zip-lock baggies, cut wax paper etc. Last year I found a bunch of cupcake papers in my cupboard. All they are is wax paper and already cut. I place the rosemary with oil in the cupcake paper, mush it down the best I can, and then fold the cupcake paper over. Then I place it inside of a zip-lock baggy. Do this until your baggy is full. Then lay the bag in the freezer flat until they are frozen. After they are frozen you can rearrange them a bit in the bag in order to sit it upright. I like to keep mine on the door so it's easy to get to.
 
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All winter you will have rosemary!
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