This assertive herb makes holiday recipes extra-special. Find a bunch worthy of your feast, then use it to its full potential.
rosemary sprigs
Courtesy of Getty Images
| Credit: Courtesy of Getty Images

How to Buy Rosemary: Choose fragrant, bright-green bunches. The stems should be bendy, not stiff, and the leaves should be firmly attached. (Go ahead and tug on a leaf.) 

How to Store Rosemary: Keep rosemary in the crisper, loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag, and it will stay fresh for up to two weeks. Have more than you can use? Freeze the whole branch. It'll last for months. Chop the leaves and add to soups, stews, or sauces. 

How to Cook Rosemary: Rosemary is great with meat and potatoes (try using bigger stalks as skewers), but it has many other uses. It's related to mint and makes a tasty swap-in for it. Try rosemary as a garnish for iced tea and cocktails, or add to cakes and cookies. 

Want to remember something? Sniff some rosemary! The herb's been associated with memory since at least Shakespearean times. In Hamlet, Ophelia says, "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." The Bard might have been on to something: In two recent experiments, British researchers asked people to play a memory game. Some were in a room scented with rosemary, and some weren't. The first group got higher scores. Genius!

Try This

Rosemary Simple Syrup 

rosemary simple syrup
Credit: Courtesy of Getty Images

In a saucepan, bring equal parts sugar and water plus a few sprigs of rosemary to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let cool; remove the rosemary and refrigerate. Add a splash to a gin and tonic or an old-fashioned for an herbal upgrade.