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no fresh rosemary

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Greetings from the UK

I visited two supermarkets yesterday to buy fresh rosemary and neither had any in stock. The recipe advises me to use 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (in a lamb casserole) so if I have to resort to using dried rosemary, how much would you advise me to use? I am cooking this meal for friends who are visiting from France and I don't want to ruin the meal by adding too much.

My visitors and I (and our stomachs) will be grateful for any advice.
post #2 of 9
With dried rosemary, I would go with about one third of what you would use fresh.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #3 of 9
I am assuming several things to answer your question:

1) If it says to use "3 sprigs", does it also say to remove them before serving?

2) the size of different rosemary bushes can vary, and therefore the size/length of a "sprig" can vary.

3) Dried Rosemary probably could be used, but to use "1/3" of the dry means you need to know pretty much how much 3 sprigs of rosemary is!

4) The sprigs also contain the stem, and the stem will leach out some extra flavor as well as the leaves.

I find that rosemary grows pretty good indoors, even in the winter. Two plants gave me far more rosemary than I could ever use in a year. You can transplant them outside for the summer, and then dig them back up for the winter.

I'd try letting my fingers do the walking and find someplace that actually has sprigs for sale, or even find a place that has a good cultivar and buy the plant and grow it yourself.

My main concern is that the dish wants to infuse the rosemary, but not keep it in the dish at serving time.

But then on the other hand, rosemary is so delicious, that I wouldn't mind if the rosemary (dried) was still in the dish when served. You just gotta be a little careful with those dried leaves of rosemary. They can stick in your throat even after cooking.

whatever you do, don't use ground rosemary!

doc
post #4 of 9
Three sprigs would be roughly a tablespoon of fresh leaves. So cut that by a third, and go with a teaspoon of the dry.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 9
Doc - just curious - why not use ground rosemary? If there's a worry about whole leaves of dried rosemary sticking in the throat, wouldn't it be preferable?

I can't say I've tried ground, but have been thinking about it. Herbs from the market here cost a ridiculous amount, and I've killed every rosemary plant I've bought - no green thumbs here!

But yeah, rosemary tastes so good I wil take it any way I can get it :)

Perhaps the dried rosemary could be put into a little bouquet garni bag during cooking then removed before serving.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #6 of 9
As a rule, I never use ground spices or herbs. I would think especially in the case of rosemary, grinding would release all the aromatic oils and there'd be little taste left. But I don't know, since I never would use ground rosemary.

I find buying a $3 plant in a little square dirt box grows well in my garden window in the kitchen even in Minnesota winter.

The aroma of pulling the leaves off a sprig is so intoxicating!

Like STP Oil Additive, its hard to get it off your hands when you wash up.

doc
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

A happy ending

Thanks to everyone for your comments. In the end I wasn't able to get hold of the fresh rosemary from anywhere convenient so I used a teaspoon of the dried ground rosemary. It definitely wasn't too much and the food could arguably have used a little more but the lamb casserole in red wine was a success and as I am a beginner cook I was very pleased with the final product and so were my friends from abroad.

Deltadoc I love the enthusiasm which you have for fresh rosemary. And no I didn't know what size a sprig of rosemary would be. What I plan to do is check when I visit supermarkets to see if they have fresh rosemary and if they do have it in stock then I will buy it and then cook this recipe again and compare the difference. I then may be tempted to grow my own rosemary which sounds like a wonderful idea. There is no doubt from what I have heard and read that fresh herbs make a huge difference to the flavour of dishes (compared to dried herbs) There is a whole new cookery world for me to explore and this success has motivated me to find out more so thanks again to all of you for making your knowledge available to people like me.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I made a mistake

Sory but I have just found out that it was dried rosemary that I used not ground. I have just been told what ground herbs are by a friend. Sorry about that as I am a beginner. The dried rosemary I used was shredded and in tiny pieces. I assume that you can also get dried full leaves. I don't want anyone thinking that they can get good results using a teaspoon of ground rosemary.
post #9 of 9
Yes, Calmbrain, you can get dried whole leaves. A lot depends on the company that packs it---one reason to always buy in glass jars rather than cans in the supermarket.

Whole dried leaves will keep their essence longer, because, not being broken, the essential oils do not dissapte as rapidly.

For the same reason, for best results, you should buy whole spices whenever possible, and grind them yourself.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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