Rosemary strikes me as a wintry herb. It begs to be part of almost anything with potatoes, at least in my kitchen. And, rubbed or crushed, it, well, smells like chicken. It is potent, though, and must be used sparingly.
The woody stems and pine-like “needles” are not the most pleasant in-mouth texture, but fresh rosemary (and that’s the only kind I use) can be infused into pretty much any water or oil-based dish.
Right now the rosemary in front of my house is in flower. It smells amazing, and on a sunny day the bushes are roiling with bees. This makes me very happy. We’ve been worried about the bees for a few years now; perhaps they are alright after all.
Rosemary flowers are tiny, tender, exquisite in shades of lavender. I love to eat them out of hand or on a salad. They dress a dish up nicely and lend just a hint of rosemary.
The bees don’t seem to mind sharing just a few… after all, they have three enormous bushes worth of flowers, and that’s just in the front of the house!
But, I wanted to tell you about yesterday’s farmers market find. My friends at Johnson’s Backyard Garden had the most adorable tiny new potatoes I’ve ever seen. I had no choice, really, but to buy a pound. And, (see above) potatoes and rosemary are wonderful together.
Now, remember that goose schmaltz I brought home? I told you it would be showing up soon. I warmed up a good spoonful of goosey yumminess (although it would have been just fine to use olive oil, really) and added a nice branch of fresh rosemary that I had gently bruised with the butt of the handle of my chef’s knife.
I let the rosemary infuse for a few minutes while I cut the potatoes in quarters, then I added the potatoes to the oil. A bit of salt and pepper, and that would have been enough, but I just happened to have some lamb sausage in the fridge that really needed to be cooked, and lamb and rosemary are also a very happy pairing. So…
New Potatoes (With or Without)
goose schmaltz, olive oil, or other cooking oil
1 pound new potatoes (1/2 pound if adding meat)
1 branch of fresh rosemary
1/2 pound lamb sausage or ground chicken (optional)
salt and pepper
rosemary flowers for “pretty” if available
In a good-sized skillet, warm the cooking oil and add the rosemary. Cut the potatoes and add. They should barely sizzle. Cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes , turning and flipping every 5 minutes or so. At this point, add the chicken or lamb (or ground turkey or even ground beef…) if you are going to. Cook until the meat is cooked through, salt and pepper to taste, remove rosemary branch and serve. I find a slotted spoon handy for serving, and I like to dress this with rosemary flowers if they area available. Feeds two happily.
Very yummy either way, in my opinion, and I think my friends at Slow Food Austin would agree. Mmmm!
Oh, I meant to mention (but I forgot), the title is from Hamlet, Ophelia’s speech in Act 4 Scene V. “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember…”