Years ago, I bought a little rosemary plant during the holiday season. It was pruned to look like a miniature Christmas tree. Not only was it a cute little plant, it was so nice to have the scent of fresh rosemary in the house! When spring came, I planted it in a sunny spot by the front porch. It grew from a small little plant into a huge, huge bush. It even started getting pretty deep purple blossoms on it—I didn’t know rosemary blooms, so that was a nice bonus!
I learned that rosemary helps keeps bugs away, so it was great to have it right next to the front porch. The bush stayed green all year long; it would stop growing in the winter months and then it would flourish with new growth in the spring. The nicest thing about having the bush was that I could pick fresh rosemary for cooking and baking anytime I needed it, year-round.
One winter was a lot colder and lasted longer than usual…so, sadly, my rosemary did not make it through that winter. After that, I tried growing rosemary inside in smaller pots and discovered that if it has the right light, it actually does pretty well inside! So I have a nice little pot of rosemary growing near my kitchen window, ready to use whenever I need it!
One of the things I like to make with my rosemary is a flavored cream cheese spread…Rosemary-Garlic Cream Cheese Spread. It’s great on bagels for a quick and easy breakfast or brunch and it’s really easy to make, too. If you don’t have fresh rosemary, you can use dried, but this spread is definitely better made with fresh rosemary!
Rosemary-Garlic Cream Cheese Spread
ROSEMARY-GARLIC CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
Makes a little over 1 cup, about 6 servings
1 (8-ounce) package softened cream cheese (light or regular)
4 Tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon (or 1 clove) minced garlic
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional: dash of salt, or to taste
Optional: some extra finely-chopped rosemary, for garnish
Blend softened cream cheese and sour cream or yogurt in a small bowl; add lemon juice and blend well. Then add the rosemary, minced garlic, and garlic powder and blend well. Add a dash of salt, if desired. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped rosemary. Refrigerate several hours before serving, or even better, refrigerate it overnight! Spread on bagels, focaccia bread, or your favorite slice of bread.
NOTE: To make this as a dip, add an extra teaspoon of lemon juice to thin it out a little more. Serve with fresh veggies or crackers.
Recipe from NancyC | nancy-c.com
As I mentioned in the recipe above, this spread is great on bagels, focaccia bread, or other kinds of flat bread. Or spread it on a slice of your favorite kind of bread, warmed up, and top with some tomato slices, sliced olives, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese—yum! You can use it as a dip for fresh veggies, too—add another teaspoon of lemon juice to thin it out a little more if using as a dip.
Are you a fan of using fresh rosemary in your cooking and baking, and are you growing any yourself?