Bold rosemary

In Season

December 13, 2006|By Bill Daley | Bill Daley,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

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HERB TIPS

BUYING

In warmer months, gardeners need only walk outdoors with a pair of scissors to gather rosemary sprigs right off the plant.

Supermarket shoppers should use the same standards in looking for rosemary as they would in buying a Christmas tree: Look for silver-green needles that are healthy and fresh. Avoid any yellowing or brittle sprigs.

STORING

Refrigerate up to one week in a plastic bag.

PREPARATION

Whole sprigs of rosemary can be dropped into stews, arranged around roasts or stuffed into the cavity of various poultry, especially turkey.

To use chopped rosemary, gently pull leaves from the stem and chop to desired size. Fresh rosemary can flavor breads, muffins and stuffings, among other dishes.

CORNMEAL MUFFINS WITH APRICOTS AND ROSEMARY MAKES 12 MUFFINS

2 / 3 cup yellow cornmeal

1-1 / 3 cups flour

1 / 3 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 / 2 teaspoon salt

1 / 2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

1 egg

1-1 / 4 cups buttermilk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

dried cranberries for garnish

rosemary sprigs for garnish

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in chopped apricots and minced rosemary.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg, then stir in the buttermilk and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir just until combined.

Spoon the mixture into a lightly buttered 12-cup muffin pan. Top each muffin with a dried cranberry and a small sprig of rosemary. Bake the muffins until lightly browned, 20 to 23 minutes.

Remove them from the oven. Run a small spatula around the muffins to loosen and cool them on a wire rack.

Per serving: 155 calories, 4 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 4 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 294 milligrams sodium

Recipe and analysis provided by the Los Angeles Times.

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