Rosemary > What to do with Rosemary Cuttings?

What to do with Rosemary Cuttings?

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Rosemary grows fast and requires pruning frequently to keep it in good condition. If you have been pruning your herb garden and are wondering what to do with rosemary cuttings, here are some ideas.

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Rosemary cutting being taken from a plant in a wooden box.
What to do with rosemary cuttings?

1. Grow a new plant

Rosemary is one of the herbs you can grow from cuttings. However your options for growing a new plant from rosemary cuttings depend on what type of cutting you have.

If you have softwood cuttings (stems are green and pliable) then you can try to grow the cuttings. See this post on planting rosemary cuttings for more info: How to grow rosemary from a cutting.

If you have hardwood rosemary cuttings, then read on for more ideas on what you can use them for.

2. Keep them in water

Rosemary cuttings will keep for a long time if you place them in water (just like a bunch of flowers). If you have a few cuttings this is a great way to keep them fresh if you don’t want to try and grow a new plant, and use it all at once.

Just half fill a glass with clean fresh water, stand the cuttings in it (cut end down), and change the water every few days to keep it fresh. Rosemary cuttings stored like this will stay fresh for several weeks.

3. Dry them to store and use later

If you have a lot of fresh rosemary cuttings, drying them is a great way to store them for future use. Drying fresh rosemary is very straight-forward, and can be done with or without the use of a dehydrator.

Two basic methods for air drying rosemary are:

  1. Strip the leaves from the stems and spread them between two layers of paper towels on a baking sheet. Leave them in a warm dry place until dried.
  2. Tie the rosemary into bunches and hang them upside down in a warm dry place until dried. You can cover the bunches with a paper bag to keep the dust off.

When drying rosemary (as with other herbs), it is a bad idea to use heat to try and dry them more quickly. Air drying or using dehydrator are the best ways to preserve the flavor of rosemary. See this post for more on why you should never use heat to dry herbs.

Once your rosemary is dry, store it in an air tight container and keep it in a cool dark place (for more see: How to store dried herbs).

4. Make rosemary salt

Rosemary salt is a delicious addition to many recipes. Use when cooking meat and vegetable dishes in place of regular salt. Making rosemary salt is very simple:

  1. Wash and dry the rosemary cuttings
  2. Strip the leaves from the stems
  3. Add to salt of your choice (I like to use kosher salt, flaked salt or fine sea salt). Use a ratio of around 3 parts salt to 1 part rosemary leaves.
  4. Store in an air tight container. It will be fully infused and good to use after around two weeks.

5. Make rosemary infused olive oil

Another great way to store fresh rosemary is to make infused olive oil. It is great served with bread for dipping, in salad dressings, or can be used in place of regular olive oil when roasting meat or vegetables.

There are two basic ways to infuse rosemary with oil basic steps to make rosemary infused olive oil are:

  • Firstly: wash and thoroughly dry rosemary (use around 2-3 stems per cup of oil).
  • Secondly for cold infusion: place cuttings in a clean airtight bottle or jar, cover with olive oil. Leave to infuse. You can remove the rosemary once the flavor is as strong you like it.
  • Secondly for warm infusion: Gently warm olive in a pan over a low heat. When it is warm, switch off the heat and add the rosemary. Leave the oil infusion to cool, then pour into a clean airtight bottle or jar.
  • Thirdly: Store in a cool dark place and use with 2-3 weeks.

Do you have any other tips for using rosemary cuttings? Please let me know in the comments below!

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