I love France for many reasons, and one of them is the flavored olive oils, vinegars, and honeys. They seem to make each and every dish just a little more special, a little more thought about. A splash of tarragon vinegar, a drizzle of basil oil, or the very best, a little pool of flavored honey. This rosemary-infused honey is a wonderful gift, but also deserves a place on your own pantry shelves. -Amy
I have a probably not-so-distant relative on my dad’s side who, back in the 50’s, authored several Italian and New York-themed cookbooks. This discovery came about when my dad randomly stumbled upon a battered copy of one of her books at a yard sale and mailed it to me. When I saw my very unique, typically misspelled maiden name plastered right there across the cover, I was instantly intrigued. Since then, I’ve managed to score four more of her little cookbooks, including an especially curious one called Eat Honey and Live Longer.
This one, I figured, would be for cookbook shelf display/family history preservation purposes only. Always the savory type, honey never really floated my boat.
But fast forward to an utterly melt-in-your-mouth appetizer that a good friend served one fateful evening, and my opinion of honey changed forever: picture thinly-sliced pears, topped with crispy prosciutto and a tiny crumble of Stilton, and finally drizzled with honey.
Factor in a rosemary plant that I have miraculously managed to keep alive over the winter, an adorable handmade beehive honey pot just recently added to my sprawling pottery collection, and I had the beginnings of an almost painfully easy recipe for infused honey, that will add some extra sunshine to your summertime.
In spring I like to serve this honey drizzled over fresh ricotta-slathered toast or over a log of goat cheese, which is then ready to be spread onto crackers. But now that summer’s here and the grill is running daily, I’ll be trying it next as a glaze over salmon or pork, or maybe mopped onto the tail-end cooking of our famous smoked rotisserie chicken.
Feel free to change up the herbs to your liking – how about thyme? Sage? All of the above? The lemon zest adds just a hint of freshness; double up on the amount if you want a stronger lemon flavor. This keeps for about a week at room temp in an airtight container, but me-thinks it won’t last that long.
Rosemary Infused Honey
- 1 cup honey (light-flavored, such as clover, works best)
- 1/3 cup rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Pour the honey into the top bowl of a double boiler. Bring the water in the bottom pan to a boil., and then turn it down to a simmer. Stir the honey until it becomes slightly thinned and heated through.
- Add the chopped rosemary and lemon zest and cook for about 3 minutes, then remove it from heat. Let all the flavors infuse for about 45 minutes to an hour, until cooled.
- If you want, while the honey mixture is still warm, you can pour it through a sieve and discard the solids. But for a stronger flavor (and a lovely look), keep the rosemary and zest in the mix and enjoy it!
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