Mary’s association with rosemary comes from stories of the Holy Family’s escape into Egypt. It is said Mary rested under a rosemary bush and spread her cloak on it to dry. The flowers miraculously changed from white to the blue of Mary’s cloak. The Spanish name for rosemary is romero, or pilgrims plant, and derives from this legend. A variation of this legend says during the flight into Egypt, the Holy Family stopped to rest and Mary washed the baby Jesus’ clothes in a stream. She placed His garments on a bush to dry in the sun. For its humble service, the plant was named rosemary, and God rewarded it with delicate blossoms of the same heavenly blue as Mary’s robe. It is also considered a symbol of remembrance and of fidelity.
To use sprigs of fresh rosemary in cooking, strip the leaves from the main branch by holding the tip and pulling down on the leaves in the opposite direction they are growing. Chop the leaves before adding to a recipe. It can also be used dried.
GRILLED BALSAMIC ROSEMARY CHICKEN
chicken breast fillets
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
Cut chicken breast in fillets. Season lightly with sea salt and place in a shallow, glass dish. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary; pour over fillets. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from marinade. Cook on preheated grill. For a variation of the recipe, salmon fillets or thin pork loin chops could be substituted for the chicken - both are good with rosemary.
Rose of the World and Mary's Son,
Son of the Maid who when day was done
Washed the shift of her little One
Singing, O Rose of Mary
~From Our Ladye's Garlands, 1931Pin It