Don’t get me wrong. I love basil, would never break up with basil, will eat it until the day I die. But lately, I’ve been cheating on basil with another herb I also love, rosemary. I used to reserve rosemary for potatoes and basil for tomatoes, but lately, I’ve been experimenting. Let me tell you: tomato and rosemary are a match made in heaven.
A divine pairing!
We all know how wonderful tomato and basil are together. It’s a cornerstone of Italian cuisine. Caprese salad, anyone? Tomato and rosemary might seem like an odd couple, but actually many recipes from the South of France have hailed their spectacular union for ages. The deep woodsy notes of rosemary undercut the juicy tang and sweetness of tomatoes to create its own unique and wonderful flavor. Tastes like Paris, if you ask me.
How to Cook It
If you want to try this pairing, simply swap rosemary for basil when cooking your next tomato-based sauce. Rosemary is so hearty that it is better cooked than fresh. Keep basil around for salads. I’ve used this pairing for tomato soups, pasta sauces, pizza sauces and even baked cannellini beans with great success.
Rather than chopping it up and adding near the end of cooking, as you would basil. Add a spring of rosemary, unchopped, at the beginning of a recipe so it can infuse the whole dish with it’s earthy flavor. Don’t go overboard; a small spring will do. Too much rosemary is overwhelming. Remove the spring at the end of cooking and discard, as you would a bay leaf.
Another bonus is that rosemary plants can survive deeper into winter and cut rosemary can last longer in your refrigerator than basil, which is especially helpful this time of year. OK, kids, go to the kitchen and get creative!