Rosemary is one of the famous herbs among the food lovers across the globe. This is mainly because of the taste and health benefits of the plat. Presently planters produce on commercial basis with more than 13 tons of Rosemary annual production. As a result of higher consumption number of rosemary substitute introduced to the market. Here we are discussing about Rosemary and, about the famous substitute for rosemary.
Did you know there is a tale that Virgin Mary laid her blue coat over a Rosemary bush, and the flowers became blue from after that?
What does Rosemary Taste Like?
First of all, Rosemary comes with two genres as fresh and dried. The taste of Rosemary has kind of a lemon-pine flavor as well as peppery and astringently bitter.
Considering the aroma, it has a minty and camphor-like smell in addition to its lavender-like fragrance. The dried sort is much more pungent and distinctive in flavor than fresh ones.
What does Rosemary Look Like?
Rosemary is a culinary plant which is native to Asia and the Middle East. It grows fruitfully with the Mediterranean climate. Even though these plant native to the Asia and the Middle East some varieties are native to the United States, usually, this plant has tiny, narrow, medium green leaves.
Sometimes it can be relatively darker or grey-green due to climate change. Flowers of the rosemary plant are very small, but when it blooms, it can be dramatic. Colours of these flowers are in between the pink and purple.
What are the Uses of Rosemary?
Rosemary is used in cooking for season foods, and it most suited for poultry and meat dishes, but not limited to. In addition to the cooking objectives, researchers say that the smell of the Rosemary essential oil improves the memory of adults and contains countless other health benefits. Rosemary is not a rare herb and can be seen in the spice section of almost every supermarket.
What is a Sprig of Rosemary?
Sprig is defined as the leaves of the Rosemary plant, which is 2-4 inches long and got a needle shape. Similarly, the sprigs of other herbs like Tarragon or Thyme, Rosemary sprigs are enriched with excellent taste and fragrance, and you can buy these sprigs as fresh and dried.
But as mentioned above, these two versions carry slightly different flavors, so the usage must be carefully-handled. If you wish to pick these sprigs straight out of your garden, you can try to grow one, but the plant’s survival is not possible under winter weather conditions, so purchasing is way more convenient than growing.
How to Identify Rosemary?
You can identify a good quality rosemary herb by following the below steps.
- Measure the size of the Rosemary
Usually, this plant grows to 5 feet height in warmer weather conditions.
- Check the plant structure
Rosemary plant has a relatively fat truck, and a thin branch grows directly from the trunk.
- Check the Stems
It has scaly grey bark stems, and the leaves are closely set along the stems.
- Measure the Needle
In a grown plant, we can be identified as 0.8 1.6 inches long length of the needles.
- Check the Color of the Needle
Sometimes colors of the leaves are turning out to the dark green or grey color. This is because of the weather condition of the area. But healthy needles always have a clean green color.
- Smell the Foliage
You can identify quality pieces of rosemary form the fragrance. It has a pungent woodsy aroma. But some says it gives smell like pine and lemon.
- Check the flowers
Usually, this plant has white, blue, pink or purple mixed flowers. All of these flowers are located in the tips of the branches, and it blooms at the summer in mild climate.
- Check the stems
If the stems still available in your supermarket plants, check whether it is attached to the roots. If these stems have a strong aroma and pure green color, it can be identified as a quality plant.
Fresh Rosemary VS Dried.
This is a common question that arises particularly in the winter season as fresh Rosemary becomes a rarity for specific countries. Regardless of the weather conditions or availability, it’s good to be aware of how to use dry Rosemary instead of fresh ones. Though there is no exact formula for the fresh Rosemary to dried or vice versa, you can get the desired results by adapting to the underneath suggestion.
1 tablespoon of fresh Rosemary = 1 teaspoon of dried Rosemary
How to Select a Rosemary Substitute?
From various herbs and spices out there, most people can identify Rosemary simply from its fragrance and recall the delicious dishes enjoyed before. If you are unable to find Rosemary for cuisines, don’t worry. Still, you can find rosemary alternatives or rosemary replacements without much of a trouble.
Later in the article, we will bring you a comprehensive list of Rosemary substitutes; for now, we urge you consider the dish you are going to replace Rosemary, Flavor, Fragrance, and availability of the sub for Rosemary before you select the Rosemary substitute. Keep reading so you won’t feel lost at the store!
Best 8 Rosemary Substitute for Home Cooking
Rosemary vs Thyme have good relationship in order to improve health condition. Thyme is another herb from the mint family that has different varieties of it. From the early days itself, Thyme is a well-known plant for various medical treatments. One such thing is reducing Hypertension.
This plant has a distinctive minty, citrus fragrance and has a tendency of working fine with almost all dishes that are accustomed to Rosemary. Despite the similarities of the aroma, Thyme’s flavor can be harder than Rosemary at times and can get dishes overpowered if the handling is not precise. So we suggest you start with half a teaspoon of Thyme for one teaspoon of Rosemary as you can add more if the dish demands.
This Rosemary substitute works fine with dishes like soups, salads, fish, chicken, and many more. For example, you can use the same amount of Thyme as a replacement for Rosemary with the same taste and results. Moreover, if you need to garnish your Crostini, you can use Thyme in the absence of Rosemary without getting noticed.
In most situations and cuisines, you can try Thyme in equal amounts the same as Rosemary, but as we mentioned earlier, be vigilant when using to avoid overpowering. Thyme is available worldwide, and you can get Thyme sprigs in the supermarket without much of a worry. If you want to know more about Thyme and its alternatives read article on Thyme substitutes.
Savory is another peppery spice from the mint family and has a lot of similarities to Thyme and Rosemary. This is another ideal substitute for Rosemary, which blends perfectly with dishes like meat, vegetables, and fish. The flavor of Savory allows you to try many dishes like soups, stuffing, BBQ meat, mushrooms, herb tea, potato salads, marinades, and various other cuisines.
There are two varieties of Savory as winter and summer. The summer ones are more peppery in taste while the winter Savory is earthier and mild in flavor. The Savory plant has an identical appearance to the Rosemary plant, and the flowers of Savory are very much like roses.
The “herb of love” has a rich history as there are hints that ancient Romans used Savory for different purposes. Overall, Savory’s taste is peppery, minty, and intense, and the aroma has a touch of pine. Again, Savory’s usage has to be delicate, and it’s ideal to test with small amounts for the betterment of the cuisine as you have the luxury to add more if needed.
Savory is available in almost every brick and mortar shops as well as in the online stores. Savoring the Savory is up for the grabs, try it!
Sage is a perennial plant with gray leaves and purplish flowers and another herb in the list from the mint family. The taste of Sage can be described as sweet overall though it contains a bit of bitterness with a pine-like flavor. The aroma, well, Sage’s smell is quite earthy and minty, which brings you a sense of coolness.
Some find this sharp sensation of coolness as disturbance, but if you get used to the fragrance, it will help you with more benefits over time. As a fresh Rosemary substitute, Sage doesn’t have many similarities in smell or taste, to be honest.
Nonetheless, it can be an exact match and a brilliant rosemary substitute for steak, egg, and particularly for the poultry seasoning. It fits more dishes that are accompanied by Rosemary quite easily.
When it comes to the usage, you can test with the same amount of Sage as you do with Rosemary. This means an equal portion of fresh Sage for fresh Rosemary or equivalent amount of dried Sage for dried Rosemary.
Sage is available in the supermarkets, and you have to be mindful to buy bright and sturdy leaves when you buy the fresh form of Sage and avoid dried-out ones as they are not effective to match your desired taste.
Some misunderstand Marjoram with Oregano, maybe because of the similar appearance. The flavor is very much different, and it carries a hint of citrusy sweetness and a slight pine taste.
Marjoram is an essential ingredient in most European dishes and sauces. This is a great substitute for Rosemary and renowned as a replacement for mushroom cuisines made with Rosemary.
In some instances, Chefs goes with Marjoram in Mushroom recipes alongside Rosemary to blend more bite to the dish. Most of these Chefs use Marjoram once they complete the recipe in order to retain its spiciness more pronounced. Other than the above-mentioned mushroom cuisines, Marjoram plays a pivotal role in garnishing the foods too.
Marjoram is an excellent home remedy for different anti-inflammatory conditions. It is the same as most other herbs, as it contains anti-microbial properties and many vital vitamins, calcium, and magnesium.
Although you can grow Marjoram plant by yourself and harvest for your requirements, cold temperatures would kill the plant unavoidably, but it does not require any fertilizers as the plant is hard enough to take care of itself. So buying and growing doesn’t matter to a certain extent but you can find fresh stuff throughout the year at supermarkets.
Read more about Marjoram substitutes.
Tarragon is a fantastic and versatile spice you can always replace and use as a substitute for Rosemary. Unlike most of the herbs included in the list, Tarragon comes from the Sunflower family and is a perennial spice you can see in most French cuisines. Tarragon brings a feel of bitter-sweetness to your dishes and has an aroma quite similar to Anise.
You can try-out Tarragon and its substitutes with different sorts of meat such as grilled meat using the flat top grills, fish, and poultry cuisines if you can’t find Rosemary at your household. This herb can be found in dried and fresh forms, and the dried ones are much solid in taste compared to the fresh ones.
Though it is an ideal Rosemary substitute, handling Tarragon might not be as convenient as Rosemary in certain situations. The spice is very intense and requires a small amount to achieve the intended result. As an example, use half from Rosemary’s requirement on the dishes, and for most recipes, one teaspoon of Tarragon would be more than enough.
Tarragon enriched with numerous nutrients to help reduce blood sugar, lose weight, treat digestion issues, and even use it as a home remedy for toothaches. It’s a regular spice in most of the supermarkets, and you will love it once you feel the taste in your mouth, and aroma in your nostrils.
Bay leaf is another Rosemary substitute you can go for purely because of the pleasant aroma, which is very much close to Rosemary’s one. The taste of Bay leaf is bitter, and there is nothing to be surprised as in most of the spices, we are more reluctant on the aroma than on the flavor.
The Bay leaves are more suitable to use as fresh leaves, having said that, if you expose the leaves under the direct sunlight, the bitterness gets wilt but retains the aroma without much of a difference. Both of the versions are in use for many dishes and a worthy Rosemary substitute irrespective of the kind you get.
This Rosemary substitute is a meat delight, specifically in any lamb dish. This laurel tree leaf can tremendously complement other meat, poultry cuisines including smoked meat with electric smokers, and many types of sauces. The Bay leaf should tear into small pieces before adding them into the cooking to extract maximum taste out of the leaves and should remove them from the pan before the serving.
One or two leaves can match your Rosemary requirement, and most of the chefs add these leaves to the cooking while they let dish to simmer. With regards to the availability, it’s a common spice in most of the stores and won’t cost you much.
This fast-growing green and bushy plant is another popular spice feature in our list as a substitute for Rosemary. There are many types of Basil plants, and more or less, all these different sorts have the same flavor and aroma. Sweet Basil, Purple Basil, Genovese Basil, Lemon Basil, Thai sweet Basil are to name a few.
Basil has the capability to substitute Rosemary in foods like grilled meat, curries, pizza, salads, soups, and even flavored ice creams. Basil’s flavor can be described as minty, spicy, anise-like, and sweet. You can often find Basil in fresh form, and beside the aforementioned recipes, it is tailor-made Rosemary substitute for the Italian and Tomato dishes.
When it comes to using it in the cuisines, you might want to add a bit more Basil into the dishes you cook than Rosemary. Another essential element is that as we mentioned above, though the taste of all Basil types is the same, they could bring slightly different flavors to the dishes you cook.
So it is always good to experiment with a couple of different kinds before you chop them to the cooking. This issue won’t be there on most of the time with the market-bought Basils as they always tend to taste “Typical Basil.”
Caraway seed is another spice you can get the taste and feeling of cooking with Rosemary as it complements more ways than one with the recipes of Rosemary. Also known as meridian fennel or Persian cumin, Caraway is from the parsley family and has an anise flavor, and it is so aromatic.
Caraway is an excellent Rosemary substitute for desserts, meat dishes, stews, vegetables, puddings, and many more famous food cuisines. Strangely, this spice comes from the carrot family, and the fruits of the Caraway plant (erroneously called seeds) are what we use as the Caraway seeds for cooking purposes. Even though these seeds are tiny in size, their idiosyncratic fragrance and flavor limit the usage to a mere teaspoon or less for most dishes.
The impact of the Caraway seeds is clearly can be seen in the different kinds of sausages and not only seeds, but the roots of the Caraway plant are edible as well. In addition to culinary help, Caraway contains loads of other essential nutrients for the human body, such as Potassium, Magnesium, dietary fibers, and Copper.
India is the top exporter of the Caraway seeds and closely followed by countries like Ukraine, Canada, and Barbados, Which elaborates there is no specific region for the product. Hence, availability is not an issue if you need them. Visit your shop, take away your Caraway.
Tips to Follow When Substituting Rosemary
Always try to use dried rosemary as a substitute for fresh rosemary. Because fresh leaves contain 80% water than the dried leaves and dried, rosemary is more concentrated in flavour. Therefore you need to add a small amount of herbs to your dish.
If your recipe says to add one teaspoon of fresh rosemary or any other substitute to the dish, replace it with a quarter to three-quarter teaspoons of dried rosemary.
We recommend adding dried rosemary herbs at the beginning of the cooking process. This is because it takes some time to dehydrate and release the flavour of the spice to the dish. Then you can add some more if you need some strong flavour.
It is easy to dry the fresh rosemary. Bring some fresh leaves from your nearest supermarket or online store and wash it thoroughly to remove all the residuals. Then tie them up and hang them in a dry ventilated area of your home.
Types of Rosemary
Same as all the other plants, rosemary also has different varieties across the globe. Each of these different types of rosemary has unique qualities. Here we listed some varieties to your reference.
Arp – A Cold Hardy rosemary type. This verity identified by the Madalene Hill and named as town name “Arp”.
Blue Boy – This is a slow-growing rosemary type. You have to put some more leaves to get the desired taste.
Spice Island Rosemary – One of the very flavorful rosemary in the world. It has dark blue flowers and grown on the late winter and early springs.
Joyce de Baggio – Some people called this golden rosemary or golden rain, because of the golden color needles. But the color of the leaves may change with the seasons. It has light yellow during spring and dark green in the summer.
Pine scented Rosemary – this variety has some small leaves pale pink flowers. The leaves of the plant are looks like feathers and grown in the late winter.
Upright Rosemary –One of the flavorful rosemary among all the varieties. It has some dark blue flowers and grows from the mid-winter to late spring.
How to Grow Rosemary Plant?
Frankly, growing Rosemary is not a Himalayan task but requires close attention, and it is a wise addition to your spice garden. You just have to facilitate them with sandy soil and direct sunlight of eight hours as the plant can take care of the rest by itself.
But, it lacks the capability to hold extremely cold conditions, so we suggest you growing them in a pot or container so that you can move them according to the weather conditions.
Trimming your Rosemary plant now and then is vital for a bushy output, and it tends to thrive with regular pruning, but make sure you trim the plant after the blooming is ceased.
Tips for Growing
- We are recommending starting new rosemary plants from cuttings taken from the established plant. Rosemary plants grow from the seed, but germination rates a relatively low and takes time to grow. So you can get a successful harvest if you follow this step.
- It is essential to choose a place it receives plenty of sunshine to the rosemary plant.
- Make sure to arrange the planting site with well-drained soil.
- Rosemary grows 4 feet in height and spread 4 feet as well. Therefore keep considerable space between the two plants to grow.
- This plant likes to grow in dry soil condition after establishing the plant. You can add some water to the plant if you feel it is necessary.
How to Grow Rosemary Indoors?
Growing rosemary inside of your house is a little bit tricky. Most of the planters tried to grow this plant indoor area but ended up with the dead rosemary plants. If you want to take the challenge, follow below instructions to avoid obstacles.
Manage of Sunlight
It is essential to have enough sunlight to rosemary plant to grow inside of your house. It cannot produce enough energy with such a week light and stay alive. Therefore as the first step, you must force to the rosemary plant to grow and produce energy at weaker lighting conditions.
This can be done by moving the plant into shady areas in your garden or yard before several weeks before you planning it to take inside of the house.
After moving inside the house, you can place it near to the brightest window of the house. South-facing windows are much suitable for this. If it doesn’t get enough lighting, use some lamp with a fluorescent light bulb to supplement the sunlight.
Poor management of water supply is another main reason for dying indoor rosemary plants. In a winter season, you must not place water too much to the plant. Watering too much leads to root rot and dying the plant.
In other seasons of the year, you can put some water if you feel dry when you are touching the soil. But make sure to add enough water to the plant without adding too much or too little.
This is another essential part of the proper management of indoor rosemary planting. Most of the houses have some poor air management system, which is different from the outside air circulation.
Therefore you can improve it by using a fan blow or whole house humidifier to increase the humidity of the room for a few hours a day or taking it out to the more humidity rooms like a bathroom or kitchen.
Rosemary is growing for consumption purpose, not a decorative purpose. Therefore you must keep it away from the treats of pets. Since it does not get the direct sunlight, weaken the attraction of the pests to the plant.
But if your plant infected with the indoor insects, use some house plant pesticide to remove them. It is nice to use organic pesticide like Neem oil to keep insects stay away from the herb. It is very effective and harmless to humans and pests.
How to use fresh Rosemary instead of Rosemary Substitute?
Most of the cuisines demand fresh Rosemary as well as the whole leaves. So you have to wash and rinse the fresh sprigs from running water and remove the stem to get the whole sprigs of Rosemary leaves. These whole leaves are a must, especially for the meat cuisines and stews. In addition, you can try-out below dishes also with fresh Rosemary.
- Rosemary Pesto
- Fresh Rosemary Lemonade
- Rosemary Skewers
- Rosemary butter
- Chicken with Rosemary
- Rosemary roasted potatoes
- No-knead Rosemary bread, and many more.
How to Store fresh Rosemary?
Usually, fresh sprigs can last up to three weeks if you know how to preserve Rosemary. Storing fresh Rosemary should be done either inside a Refrigerator or a freezer. You just have to wrap the Rosemary sprigs with a dampened towel and put it into a plastic bottle or bag with an airtight lid and store in a refrigerator.
If you want these leaves to last more than three weeks, then your solution would be storing them in a freezer. You can make them freeze by two methods. That is individually allowing sprigs to freeze and chopping them into small pieces and storing them in ice cube trays.
How to Dry Rosemary?
Most of the herb lovers highly concern on fresh rosemary to dried conversion process. Drying Rosemary or leaving sprigs of Rosemary to dry can be done in multiple methods.
- Using a dehydrator
Preheat your food dehydrator at 90-125 degrees and lay the sprigs. Let them be there for at least an hour, once they become crumble-able, you are good to go with dried Rosemary’s.
- Using an Oven
Set your oven to 125 degrees and insert the sprigs wrapped up with parchment paper for one hour.
- Using a microwave
Lay the sprigs on a paper towel layer and cover it up with another layer of paper towels before inserting them in Microwave. Repeat cycles high and 20 seconds at a time until the sprigs get crumbled easily.
Health benefits of Rosemary and Rosemary Substitutes?
Rosemary’s enriched with many health benefits other than the culinary help. See whether you knew about followings,
- Anti-inflammatory properties
This helps to boost the human immune system and beneficial in the blood circulation of the body.
- Helps digestion
In many countries, Rosemary used as a medicine to treat indigestion.
- Slows the spread of cancer cells
Researches revealed that Rosemary could slow down the spread of cancer cells related to Leukemia and breast cancer. Moreover, it helps to kill the cancer-causing factors while cooking.
- Enhances the memory
As per another research conducted showed that the fragrance of Rosemary helps to improve concentration, speed, decision-making ability, and accuracy.
Capping off, we think you are now sort of a master in Rosemary and its substitutes, which was the exact thought process we had behind writing this article. We hope knowledge on cooking with fresh rosemary or cooking with rosemary substitute is important to make healthier food for your family. To finish the thing, we have another important detail for your attention. Large doses of Rosemary consumption can also lead to situations like Coma, Vomiting, and spasms. So, bee wise in whatever you do in the life, let us know your take on the article by commenting below. Cheers!