This can happen quite easily and adding too much rosemary can make a dish pungent and overpower the other flavors. Sometimes when recipes call for a few sprigs of fresh rosemary it can be very generic and we have found that fresh herbs may vary in intensity of flavor a lot.
The best way to solve the problem of adding too much rosemary to cooking is to remove it as soon as you realize your mistake. Or you can dilute it with adding more of other flavors. Alternatively you can dilute by doubling your portions, or adding tomatoes or even dairy products like sour cream.
Each of these solutions work well in different recipes and scenarios, so let’s look at each one in more detail to work out your best option.
Remove Rosemary From Your Cooking
First thing to do if you have added too much rosemary to a dish is to remove the stalks as soon as possible. Scoop them out and discard immediately. This is why tasting a dish as you cook it is so important. Some dishes do call for rosemary sprigs to be added at the start and then removed before the next stage, we have all forgotten to do this at one stage or another!
If you have accidentally sprinkled too many individual rosemary leaves into a dish then you can try the teaspoon method. Teaspoon upright and gently lower into the liquid and then the leaves float on to the spoon, scoop them out and discard. It is time consuming but it can help to reduce the overall pungency.
Try To Dilute The Flavor Of Rosemary In Your Cooking
If it is dried rosemary that has been chopped then you will have to try and dilute the pungent flavor. This can sometimes mean adding more of the other highly flavored ingredients.
It can even be better to start again and make a batch up without any rosemary. Then mix together with your overly rosemary-ed dish when you get to the same stage in cooking. Finish the dish and then freeze half so that you still have one overall dish and one lot ready for another meal.
Basically this is me admitting that I make mistakes with flavors when I am recipe creating but do not want to waste any food. Experimenting with flavors can be great, but my family don’t hold any punches in taste testing!
A final option for diluting is either tinned tomatoes to add a bit of acidic flavor or even as you are getting ready to serve add in a healthy dollop of sour cream. I would say this works on stews quite well, but add extra of any other herbs before doing this as it can kill off your lighter flavors too. Rosemary can still be the dominant flavor if you don’t up the thyme or oregano too.
How To Avoid Adding Too Much Rosemary To Cooking
A common time to make mistakes for adding herbs and especially rosemary is when looking at conversions from fresh to dried. Or when looking at sprigs vs dried etc.
This is the ratio we follow when using rosemary, for flavor intensity and aroma. 1 Fresh Rosemary Sprig (4-5inches long) = 1 teaspoon fresh leaves. 3 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs = 1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary = 1 teaspoon of dried.
This can be an imperfect situation as sometimes you will sit your meat on fresh sprigs as opposed to using in a herb rub. In this case it is best to use your cooking intuition as this can mean a direct comparison will result in an overpowering flavor profile.
What Next & Further Reading
Hopefully you have found this useful and you can go on to develop your own family favorite recipes. Either way it is great to grow your own rosemary and other herbs. So why not subscribe to hear the latest news from us here at the Homegrown Herb Garden?
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