There are two methods for flavoring the honey. One takes longer, but it preserves the healthy microbes in the honey that can be destroyed by heat; the other is a quick method that can be made for immediate use. Both methods work very nicely, and the resulting honey makes excellent gifts. Please note that the quick-method honey should be stored in the refrigerator.
Yield: 2 cups
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 2 cups clover or other mildly flavored honey
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Place rosemary leaves in a small, heavy saucepan, and press with back of a spoon to bruise leaves. Add honey; heat over very low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and fragrant.
- Strain honey through a wire-mesh sieve into a small bowl and discard leaves. Cool to room temperature and transfer to an airtight container. Add a sprig of rosemary to container, if desired. Store at room temperature up to 24 hours or refrigerate.
- Place chopped rosemary in a clean pint jar. Add honey to fill jar to within 1 inch of rim of jar. Screw on cap to seal. Turn jar several times to evenly distribute chopped rosemary throughout honey.
- Place jar in a sunny windowsill for one to two weeks, turning jar every couple of days. (It takes time for honey to reach maximum flavor intensity.)
- After one week, taste honey. If flavor is strong enough, strain honey through a wire-mesh sieve into two half-pint jars and discard leaves. Add one small sprig of fresh rosemary to each jar, then screw on caps to seal jars. If a stronger flavor is desired, add more chopped fresh rosemary and allow honey sit for another week before straining again.
Featured Ingredient: Rosemary
Rosemary is a highly aromatic herb with great ornamental and culinary value for your garden. The leaves are easily removed from the woody stem and added to flavor a great variety of dishes, from stews and soups to dressings and baked goods, or even mixed with butter and melted over a steak. Unlike with most herbs, rosemary's flavor is stronger fresh than dried, so it's worth having a fresh source on hand. The plants are also very easy to grow, either directly in the ground or in a small pot. With so many uses, it's definitely worth learning how to grow your own rosemary!