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Cooking with Fire

Cooking With Fire: Rosemary

Justin Cary

Few herbs are as versatile as rosemary. 

From savory to sweet dishes, as a seasoning for meat, fruit, vegetables, and baked goods, it is used the world over to provide fresh flavor to all sorts of foods. The history of rosemary as a seasoning goes back over 2,500 years when it was used as both a culinary ingredient and as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece and Italy.

Originally found growing near the coasts of the Mediterranean, the Latin name for rosemary translates to “dew of the sea,” and the name is quite fitting.

This evergreen shrub has a slightly bittersweet flavor and brings lemon and pine flavors to food, and is refreshing in many dishes. During the holidays in the U.S. it is a popular seasoning for everything from turkey to stuffing to potatoes, and just about anything else you’d want to throw it in.

But how can you use rosemary to impress your holiday party guests or your coworkers at your work holiday party this year? The answer is simple: Chef Tom is whipping up a rosemary and feta cheese dip perfect for light snacking throughout the holiday season. This fresh and creamy dip is sure to be a hit wherever you serve it.

In the latest podcast, we dive even more background on the history of this wonderful herb.

[audio pending]

Whipped Feta & Rosemary Dip

  • 12 oz feta cheese, room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, juiced, zested
  • Smoked salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place the rosemary in a dry hot skillet and toast just until fragrant and beginning to brown. Remove from the skillet. Let cool. Strip the leaves from the stem. Discard the stem.
  2. Combine the feta and cream cheese in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Then process on high speed for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the rosemary, garlic, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice & zest and process until everything is well combined and the rosemary and garlic are broken down into very small pieces.
  4. Taste and season with the smoked salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with the remaining extra virgin olive oil, or chill to serve later.