A fragrant herb native to the Mediterranean. It has dark green, pine-like leaves that are silver underneath. The flavour is a bitter and astringent and it gives off a heady, herby aroma. It is incredibly versatile and can be used in a large number of dishes.
Rosemary is an evergreen plant, so is available all year round. It's fairly robust and therefore easy to grow, either outside or in a sunny spot on the windowsill.
Although it can be bought dried, aim to buy fresh rosemary, especially as it is available year round. Rubbing the leaves will release the aroma, the stronger the better.
The whole leaves can be used to flavour a variety of meats and poultry. Spike holes in a join of lamb and fill with sprigs of rosemary. Alternatively finely chop fresh rosemary and add to roasted vegetables or potatoes.
Fresh rosemary should be wrapped tightly and kept in the fridge. You can also trim the stalks and keep them upright in a glass of water. Dried rosemary will last longer and can be kept in a cool, dry place, but always check the flavour as it will start to deteriorate.
Rosemary works really well with salty breads, and in Italy the sprigs are pressed into to focaccia, and then drizzled with olive oil, it's also great added to sourdough or rye breads.