Rosemary is an herb that is incredibly easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest. I use it as a landscape plant as much as a culinary plant. It’s evergreen so it looks great all year long and it also happens to be a lifesaver when I need a last minute appetizer for a party. My mom introduced me to Michael Chiarello’s recipe for Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon Popcorn several years ago and I’ve been making a variation of it ever since. Popcorn is a great appetizer to bring for parties for several reasons. It usually works for most people’s diets, it pairs wonderfully with most beverages, and it isn’t too heavy. The addition of rosemary is unexpected and most people rave about it. The recipe is simple and you can throw it together minutes before you need to leave for a holiday party, assuming you grow rosemary in your yard! If you do not grow rosemary, add it to your list of priorities this spring!
Rosemary & Butter Popcorn
- 1 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
- salt to taste
- lemon zest, if desired
Pop the popcorn, either using an air popper or on the stovetop with a few tablespoons of oil. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan. Sometimes I make brown butter but mostly I go with simple melted butter.
Once the corn is popped and the butter is melted, mix together with the rosemary and salt. Chiarello adds the rosemary to the butter and then pours it over the popcorn. I find that the rosemary sinks to the bottom of the pan this way and it’s hard to evenly distribute the rosemary. I prefer to pour half of the butter in, mix, and then add the rosemary and salt separately and mix again. Repeat with the second half of the butter and rosemary. The key is making sure all the yummy rosemary and butter doesn’t wind up at the bottom of the bowl! If I have a lemon on hand, I’ll sometimes grate some lemon zest over the popcorn for some additional interest.