Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rosemary - Remembrance of Mary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a hardy perennial herb and a member of the mint family. It has lovely smelling, thin evergreen leaves and light blue flowers. The flavor and aroma have a character similar to pine. This pungent taste lends itself easily to meats, potatoes and breads and it is a common ingredient in marinades and soups. Rosemary combines well with other herbs but has a tendency to dominate. You can use full sprigs for a nice garnish.

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.


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, 1931
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  1. What a lovely post! Absolutely wonderful - the pictures, the recipe - all of it! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wonderful blog! I followed a link from Bitte and struck gold :)

  3. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing the great recipes.

  4. +JMJ+

    Hello to all!

    I've nominated Catholic Cuisine for the Lemonade Stand Award at my 'blog:

  5. Thank you for a great blog! I was looking for Pentecost...Father wants something after the Masses that day, and I found your lovely Pentecost cake.

    I also wanted to mention, that for those who make their own pizza, rosemary instead of oregano in the sauce is a different, yet delicious variation.

  6. Yes, this is not just a great blog is a wonderful resource for us all and it should be awarded!

    Divine Office Podcast Pray with us

  7. Enbrethiliel ~ Thank you so much! That was very kind of you! And, thank you ALL for all your kind comments on Catholic Cuisine!

  8. Mary, these are such great posts, and this recipe looks delicious! I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us this month! Thank you!

  9. Mary, I made this recipe last night for our OLF dinner and family May Crowning -- it is just delicious!!! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  10. Eileen, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks everyone for the nice comments as well.

  11. +JMJ+

    You're very welcome, Jessica. =) I can't wait to see which 'blogs the mothers of Catholic Cuisine nominate for this award.