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Focus on Rosemary

If stored properly, fresh rosemary will keep in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days.

Did you grow any fresh herbs this summer? Are you wondering what to do with all of them? Here’s an excerpt from an upcoming publication about rosemary, along with a recipe.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) is a savory kitchen herb with evergreen, needlelike leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region and can be used to add flavor in a variety of foods, such as lamb, chicken, pot roast and root vegetables.

Preservation and Use

Freeze or dry rosemary to preserve it. Rosemary leaves can be frozen suspended in water or olive oil in ice cube trays. You also can place rosemary sprigs on a baking sheet in the freezer until they are frozen solidly, then transfer the sprigs to a freezer bag for future use.

Rosemary can be dried by washing the sprigs under cold running water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Then bundle the sprigs and tie them together at their bases. Hang them in a well-ventilated area to air-dry. To protect from dust and other irritants, place a brown paper bag around the hanging herb.


If stored properly, fresh rosemary will keep in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days. Loosely wrap the rosemary sprigs in a slightly damp paper towel and then again in a plastic storage bag. If you have more rosemary than you can use in two weeks, follow the freezing or drying instructions.

Cooking Tips

The leaves from three sprigs of fresh rosemary generally equal 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary. Dried rosemary is a good substitute for fresh rosemary in the winter months, when growing fresh rosemary and/or finding it at your local grocery store is more difficult. Because the dried version has a more concentrated flavor, you will need less of it than the fresh.

  • Dried vs. fresh rosemary cooking conversions: 1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried


Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Maria Topp, Dietetic Intern (former)

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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