Category: The Garden Palette | Difficulty: easyWell, the day is finally here! The Garden Palette’s first post! In case you don’t know, one of my very good friends from Twitter, @rascallyjen, and I decided to come together to post information, photos, and recipes once a month using fresh plants. We’ll pick an herb or vegetable and she will inform you guys about it, its history along with photos and I’ll have a recipe based on our choice. I’ll also have some tips and the order in which I prepared this menu. So without further ado, today’s secret ingredient is: (drum roll) Rosemary!
I love using Rosemary in lots of dishes, it is a versatile herb. So, when we picked this to write about, I was a happy camper like I was actually in Kitchen Stadium and the chairman picks the secret ingredient and I don’t cringe!!! I have used fresh and dry rosemary in dishes and I have entire menu for you to sample using both fresh and dry. There are instances in cooking when dry is the preferable method. Dry herbs can stand up to heat thereby roasting much better of course than fresh. So here’s my menu:
We’ll start off with the main course, “Baked Salmon with Pesto and Fresh Rosemary“, its side course is: “Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes in Rosemary“, “Rosemary Focaccia“, and for dessert, “Olive Oil Rosemary Cake“. I hope you’ll like this. I almost opted for chicken in rosemary but I was trying to be more healthy and I wanted a not so traditional menu. So let’s get started!
Baked Salmon w/Pesto and Fresh Rosemary
First I make the pesto. You can use my pesto recipe from my earlier post here. Then I prepare my salmon. I always get fillets at the supermarket and I ask the guy to remove the skin for me. I love salmon, it’s my favorite fish!
Salmon fillets, any portion size, boned and skinned
Onion powder, to taste be generous
Garlic powder, to taste be generous
Dried dill, to taste be generous
Mrs. Dash, to taste be generous
Make the pesto and set this aside until the salmon is done.
Spray Canola oil or similar product over tin foil pan or rectangular pan (depending on amount and size of portions).
Sprinkle seasonings over salmon ending with paprika (except for the fresh rosemary which we’re saving for the topping). Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Spread the pesto on top as much as you want and add sprigs of fresh rosemary. Sprinkle more grated parmesan on top.
Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes in Rosemary
This is the perfect dish to use dry rosemary so that the herb can stand up to the high temperatures of roasting. It is a sweet compliment to the fish and I love sweet potatoes! This is such an easy side dish for anytime and practically goes with anything!
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 tbsp. EVOO
1/3 c. fresh rosemary leaves, plus 6 rosemary sprigs for garnish
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Wipe down the potatoes a bit and you can leave the skin on. I try to pick the best looking ones at the market. I like to get the freshest veggies I can find when shopping.
Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Be sure each round is coated well with oil and seasonings. You may need to use your hands for this process. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13×9-inch baking dish with tin foil. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with chopped rosemary sprigs.
Must have a bread to go with the meal! Like I mentioned, Rosemary is a versatile herb and can be used for just about any dish.
1 (1 lb.) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1 lg. clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
Stretch and press thawed bread dough to fit a greased 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan. With fingers, poke deep holes at 1 inch intervals. Place a small piece of garlic in each hole. Drizzle oil over dough; brush lightly to distribute. Sprinkle cheese and rosemary over dough. Let rise in a warm place until double (about 20 minutes). Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until browned (18-20 minutes). Cut into strips (about 2 x 3 1/2 inch) and serve warm!
Next up…our dessert!
Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
And a dessert! Can’t beat that huh?? You know I must have a dessert baby! And this one delivers for me! Now…I like to serve it with a little vanilla frozen yogurt on the side! Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmm! You think I might be ready for Foodbuzz’s 24 24 24?
Maybe not yet… LOL!
recipe inspired from Mario Batali’s Babbo Cookbook
3/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. EVOO
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1-1/2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking power
1/2 tsp. salt (finely ground)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch loaf pan with butter, olive oil, or non-stick spray. In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the whip attachment to beat the eggs for 30 seconds. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Using a spatula, gently fold the rosemary into the egg mixture.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking power, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through for even color. The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when touched, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.
NOTE: This cake is very light in texture and flavor.
Now for my tips:
Well first off, if you’re going to make the entire menu, start with the dessert first so you can have it set aside while you prepare the other courses. I’d make the sweet potatoes next since they’ll be in the oven for a little bit and you can prepare the bread recipe next. The oven will be hot enough and so the bread and salmon don’t need as long to bake. This way you can keep the meal warm before serving. I’d put some tin foil over the sweet potatoes when they come out of the oven to trap the heat. This makes such a romantic meal too I think.
Oh, did I forget the drink? Well..for me and hubby I’d serve apple cider or white grape juice !
Jen’s tip: Always store dry Rosemary or any other dry herb in a sealed container and replace after 1 year. Also, keep it away from the oven/stove as you want the flavor to remain with the herb for as long as possible.
Kim’s tip: Fresh herbs I usually wash off and then fold them in a paper towel, put them in a ziploc bag and seal tightly, no air and then I put them in my veggie drawer in the frig. I try to use them up before week’s end.
Extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, water, sugar, salt, black pepper & rosemary! My oh what flavor!
Rosemary adds such flavor to everything I didn’t need as much salt and that’s a good thing in my house! Be sure to pop over to Jen’s site to see more of our Rosemary photos and read more about the origin of the plant and how it grows in her neck of the woods!
Until next month…from The Garden Palette!
The Garden Palette posts the 2nd Wednesday of each month