by Charlene Burgi
Fall can be a time of the year when the garden lacks color. Plants are preparing for winter’s rest. Roses are forming rosehips, annual flowers are diminishing, summer shrubs have long lost their color and deciduous trees are dropping their leaves. As I look around my garden I note a mass of blue between the flower-spent lavatera and lavender. The bees are buzzing around, collecting pollen from the flowers of the Rosmarinus, better known as rosemary.
Rosemary is a rugged plant, requires minimal water, and can be used as groundcover or an upright bush. Plant it in poor soil in the sun and it will thrive. It comes in many forms and flowers in shades of blue. Its downside? It contains a lot of oil, so it is a fire hazard if planted in the urban-wild land interface.
Rosemary dates back to ancient times. It is used in potpourri, in bath water to refresh and relax, and has other medicinal purposes. I know it best as an herb that was and still is used in my Italian family for generations. The smell of rosemary evokes memories of utilizing a branch that acted as a basting brush to slather a concoction of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic and olive oil on the barbequed meat. The bruised needles of the plant transferred its flavor to the delicacies cooking on the grill.
In recent years, rosemary went modern as it found its way into a rub. My dear friend shared this recipe that turned leg of lamb into a gourmet’s delight with everyone asking for more. This recipe inspired many who partook to purchase a ‘Tuscan Blue’ rosemary of their own.
Lemon Rosemary Rub
Fresh zest from 2 lemons
6 large garlic cloves minced
4 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary
3 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Mix ingredients in a bowl and rub on the leg of lamb. Cook to an internal temperature of 145 – 160 degrees or to your liking.