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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Rosemary adds a strong, assertive flavor to your plate

A sprig of rosemary set on a round dark wood slice on top of a wooden table. Contains orange I block logo and Illinois Extension wordmark.

Rosemary is an herb I always have growing in my herb garden. Native to the Mediterranean region, it makes a beautiful addition to the landscape. It’s green needle-like leaves have a hint of evergreen taste. Its strong assertive flavor may not work well with other strong flavored herbs, such as mint or cilantro, as they may compete against each other. Therefore, start with a small amount of fresh rosemary and add more as needed. If using fresh rosemary instead of dried in a recipe, use 1 Tablespoon fresh for every 1 teaspoon dried.

To use fresh rosemary, rinse the sprigs under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Run your fingers along the woody stem from top to bottom to remove the leaves. Then, chop the leaves to maximize the flavor. If a recipe calls for you to leave in the whole sprig, be sure to remove the stem before eating as they are tough to chew on and could be a choking hazard. Rosemary pairs well with chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and game. It’s excellent with roasted vegetables, especially potatoes, and is delicious baked in breads, such as focaccia.

Store fresh rosemary for up to one week in one of two ways: wrap the stems in a damp paper towel and place in an opened bag in the refrigerator, or place stems in a glass of water, cover loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Freeze or dry rosemary to preserve it. Simply freeze whole sprigs in freezer bags or containers or chop rosemary and place in ice cube trays filled with water or oil. To dry rosemary, tie the stems of the sprigs together and hang them in a well-ventilated area.

Rosemary Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

(Printable PDF)

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes

1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ Tablespoon chopped rosemary

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and stir until evenly coated. Sprinkle with garlic powder, rosemary, Parmesan cheese and pepper; toss until evenly coated. Pour onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a single layer for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings


Nutrition Facts (per serving): 180 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 140 milligrams sodium, 31 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 3 grams protein


Source: Garden-Robinson, J. (2020). Field to Fork Rosemary. North Dakota State University.


PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Calvin Chai on Unsplash

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Smith is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Smith uses her experience as a registered dietitian nutritionist to deliver impactful information and cutting-edge programs to Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties and beyond.