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Rosemary is top pick of thriving herb crop

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Chocolate-Rosemary Tart

6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup double dark chocolate or Dutch-process cocoa

1 cup all-purpose flour

9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons corn syrup

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crust, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Pulse in butter until mixture is sandy.

Pour crumb mixture into a 9- or 10-inch tart pan. Press firmly up the sides and into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until firm. Allow to cool before using.

Place chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat cream, corn syrup and rosemary over low heat. Bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and let rosemary steep an hour. Return to heat and bring back to simmer. Strain cream over chocolate to remove rosemary needles. Whisk the mixture until all chocolate is melted and add vanilla. Pour into cooled tart shell and let cool in refrigerator for 4 hours. The ganache may be made one day ahead and rewarmed in the microwave.

Ganache recipe adapted from Chocolate Rosemary Ganache, Martha Stewart Living, February 2000

Updated: September 23, 2012 6:06AM



A semi-tepid winter awarded us an abundance of hardy herbs this summer.

Green and thriving, the French tarragon, parsley and rosemary remained unscathed by the few frosts of the earlier season. Now, they continue in an unnaturally large, lush state.

If you kept it, perhaps you noticed your rosemary evolve into a voluminous bush, sprouting sprigs too plentiful to use in one summer of cooking.

It may outshine the other smallish herbs in the garden, but its fragrant bouquet of just the right amount of sapor and spice is much too ambrosial to trim it back.

It must be used. Perhaps this year’s frost won’t be as gracious to the herb garden.

In a quite unconventional collaboration that combines both the savory-sweet dyad with a little bit of urban food artistry, rosemary greets chocolate with great applause.

The two robust flavors seem as if they’d never cut a deal together; and in the unlikely occurrence that they do meet, one should professedly overpower the other. Yet, it doesn’t happen.

There they sit — both bold and deep flavors — harmonizing together as if they were forever meant to be.

Some herb enthusiasts pair these two together in light amounts: biscotti, shortbread or muffins.

However, a dark chocolate ganache is the ideal decadent foundation for the fragile, yet powerful flavor of the rosemary. Serve this combo as a tart in a chocolate shortbread shell. Quite rich, the twosome of tastes will usher in autumn with their unusual depth of flavors.

Although the flavors seem complicated, the recipe for this chocolate-rosemary tart is anything but.

A great ganache calls for very few ingredients and although working with pastry dough is an unpredictable process, this one truly isn’t.

Pressing the shortbread dough into the tart shell covers any errors in aesthetics and the rich, chocolatey flavor will ride nicely into each bite of the ganache.



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