Stop and Smell the Rosemary


Last summer my husband built me a new garden, complete with raised beds, storage for supplies and a gate to keep out the “neighbors,” AKA deer and bunnies.

The plan for this season includes the usual suspects—tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, radishes, lots of peas, flowers, fennel, chard and of course, herbs.

Herbs are one of my all-time gardening favorites because most of them continue to grow and produce all season long. I’ve taken to growing way more than I can use simply because I love the look of them; I even grow some herbs only for their blooms.

Few dishes make it to my table without a sprig of one or another herb on top. The core reason I grow herbs is for their fresh flavor!

My favorite herb has always been rosemary. I use it in grain dishes, in chicken and lamb recipes, and with a surprising number of sweet foods, too (finely chopped rosemary is a tasty addition to a shortbread cookie!) It’s especially beautiful and delicious with roasted grapes, which I love to serve on a flatbread with prosciutto, gorgonzola and honey. I also make a Panna Cotta with Rosemary-Grape Compote that’s a dinner party winner every time.

Perhaps my favorite way to use rosemary, however, is in a rosemary pesto. Made similarly to traditional basil pesto, you can serve it with feta cheese on crackers, on a lamb chop or burger.

Rachael Perron is the culinary and brand director for Kowalski’s Market. Find her recipes for Rosemary Pesto and Panna Cotta with Rosemary-Grape Compote on our website at