How to Convert Fresh Rosemary Sprigs to Dried Rosemary
Can you substitute dried rosemary for fresh rosemary? Yes. Dried rosemary, which is readily available all year round, is a very good substitute for fresh rosemary during winter months when fresh herbs may be in short supply at your local grocer. However, as the flavor of rosemary is more concentrated in the dried product, you will need less of it.
But what is the exact ratio used to convert fresh rosemary to dried rosemary? The bad news is that there's no 'correct' ratio that would always yield the optimum culinary experience. Converting the amount of fresh rosemary your recipe calls for to dried rosemary will require some practice, and you should always use your taste buds as the ultimate judge of what the appropriate conversion ratio should be.
The good news is that you can use the following rule of thumb as a general guideline when substituting dried rosemary for fresh rosemary, or vice versa:
1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried
If your recipe calls for rosemary sprigs instead of teaspoons of fresh rosemary, you can assume that one small/medium sprig will equal about one teaspoon of fresh rosemary. Three fresh sprigs, which give about one tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves, would equal about one teaspoon of the dried herb.
To release the flavor that has been locked in rosemary during the drying process, rub the dried herbs between your hands or crumble them before adding them to your dish. Furthermore, adding dried rosemary early in the cooking process helps bring out its flavor.
What to Do When Neither Fresh nor Dried Rosemary is Available?
The above rule of thumb is helpful if you are in a situation where you don't have any fresh rosemary sprigs at home but have dried rosemary. If you are in a situation where you have neither fresh nor dried rosemary at hand, you may be happy to learn that herbs like sage, savory and thyme can be substituted for chopped or dried rosemary in many recipes.