As early as the Roman Republic, rosemary has been loved for it’s wonderful scent and the the beautiful appearance of it’s flowers and needle-like leaves. It was woven into bridal head pieces for lasting love and placed under mattresses for faithfulness, as well as warding off insects. The name rosemary is from the Latin ros marinus, dew of the sea. From the French term incensier, it was used church ceremonies to ward off evil and dark spirits.
Rosemary’s complex scent is reminiscent of sea air, pine and camphor. It’s essential oils brings both brightness and earthiness to dishes ranging from chicken, to lamb, to potatoes and many things in between. Foods rich in fat and bland foods favor rosemary as a pairing.
Rosemary dries well and the dried herb can be easily substituted for fresh. Usually 1/4 the amount of dried rosemary will do, and should be chopped fine or ground since when dried, rosemary is like pine needles. The plant takes well to growing indoors as well as outdoors and should get plenty of sunshine.
Here’s a bread which can be made in a jiffy, as it has no yeast and needs no time to rise. It will go nicely with soft cheeses and butters and is perfect for sopping up soups and sauces.
Rosemary, Olive and Honey Quick Bread
makes one loaf
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 /2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped coarsely (or 1 t. dried rosemary, chopped fine)
3/4 cup olives* drained and chopped coarsely
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Into mixer, place eggs, milk, honey and olive oil. Using paddle, mix at low speed for 3-4 minutes, until combined. At slow speed, add 3/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Set speed at medium and combine for 2 minutes until incorporated. Add olives and rosemary. Combine at medium speed. Add remaining dry ingredients and allow mixture to combine for 3 minutes.
Transfer dough to a greased loaf pan (approximately 8″x 4″). Place pan on lower 1/3 of oven and bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out dry. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Transfer loaf to a baking rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
*You can use any type of olives you wish. I happened to have Manzanilla olives, or green olives stuffed with pimento. I love how the salt plays off of the sweet of the honey!
**WHB- Weekend Herb Blogging is a weekly blog event held by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. This week’s event is being hosted by Pille at Nami-Nami. She is a fantastic foodie, cook and blogger from Estonia. Check her out!