Salvia rosmarinus, commonly known as rosemary, is a shrub with fragrant, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Cascades of rosemary are commonplace in Bermuda, but not many people explore the wonderful qualities of this herb. It is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. The herb is also considered a cognitive stimulant and can help improve memory performance and quality as well as boost alertness, intelligence, and focus.

Rosemary was considered the herb of remembrance, prompting Greek scholars to wear wreaths of it on their heads. At weddings, it was carried as a symbol of fidelity. In Tudor times, it was grown in pots, as topiary and espaliered. Use leaves (as well as tender sky blue flowers) in everything from tisanes, to stews, sauces, with chicken, fish or pork, in herbal bouquets garni, and hung in closets, bound by a colourful ribband, to make a lovely natural moth repellent. Common in the Mediterranean, it loves the seaside but does just as well inland.

Rosemary is easy to dehydrate and naturally holds its flavour, colour, and texture better than more tender herbs like parsley or basil. After washing and drying the rosemary sprigs, bundle them together, tie them at their bases, and hang in a well-ventilated area to dry. You can also place the sprigs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place in the oven on the “warm” setting (or the lowest temperature possible) until dry.

Rosemary citrus salt
1 c. course sea salt
Fresh rosemary leaves
Zest from 1 lemon

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor, then store in an airtight container. Use as a rub on grilled chicken, vegetables, or steak. You can also add a little olive oil or sweet almond oil to make a lovely hand scrub.