Sage

Sage’s fresh leaves are most sought after in cooking for their aromatic, subtle flavor than dried sage. 

Fresh sage leaves should be flavorful and devoid of blemishes, mold and wilt.  Store fresh sage in plastic bags placed inside refrigerator. Dried sage should be kept in an air-tight container and placed in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep afresh for several months.

For culinary purposes, discard tough stems and fibers before use in sagerecipes. Wash in cold water to remove soil and sand. Gently pat dry using soft cloth.

 

Sage herb is one of the common ingredients in Greek, Italian, and Balkan cuisine.  Here are some serving tips:

  • Fresh leaves can be used in stuffing in season sausages, poultry and fish.
  • The herb is also used in many vegetable dishes, especially with beans.
  • It is also used as a garnish in herb salads.
  • Sage, Olive Oil, & Parmesan with your favorite pasta
  • Infuse honey with sage for a delightful treat
  • Add Sage along with parsley, basil, & thyme to tomato sauces
  • Deep fried sage leaves are served as appetizers in fancy restaurants – but you can easily do this at home
  • Dry sage leaves, by laying flat in cool area out of direct sunlight.  Then crush to store in glass jar for later use.

Sage pairs well with: eggs, chicken, lamb, polenta, onions, white beans, fish, & turkey.

 

Fried Sage Leaves  – “an unexpected treat”

friedsageFried sage looks fancy, but in reality it’s the simplest and easiest appetizer you can prepare.  You can not prepare this appetizer in advance as like all fried foods it has to be eaten warm to savor it at its best. You could use a richer batter, however I prefer it with a simple flour and water batter because the sage leaves get crisper and their flavor is still intact and complemented by the batter.

  •  1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. cold water
  • 10-12 big sage leaves or about 30 small ones
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • sea salt

1. Wash the leaves and dry them on a kitchen towel.
2. Whisk the water into sifted flour and mix until the batter becomes smooth.
3. Warm up the oil in a nonstick skillet. Dip the leaves in the batter and let the extra batter drip off.
4. Fry the sage leaves on one side until crispy and light golden and then fry them on the other side.
5. Place them on a paper towel and sprinkle them with a little bit of salt. Serve warm.

Dipping Sauce for Fried Sage:   

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, to taste

Combine the mayo, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice into a dipping sauce. season with salt as necessary.

Roasted Potatoes with Olive Oil & Sage

  • about 2 lbs potatoes, washed, cubed
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • fresh sage leaves

Preheat oven to Roast at 400ºF.

  1. In large bowl, toss cut potatoes,  sage leaves (minced) and enough olive oil to coat potatoes. Add salt to taste
  2. Place potatoes on sheet pan and roast in oven for about 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn potatoes at least once during the roasting period.

This recipe can be adapted to any fresh herbs you have on hand.  Experiment to see what flavors your family enjoys best. 

Red Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions & Sage

    • 1 tbsp  vegetable oil
    • 3 cups chopped onions
    • 12 scrubbed red potatoes, (about 3lb)
    • 1/4 cup  chopped fresh sage

Vinegar Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup  vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp  pepper

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; fry onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.  

Meanwhile, in saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and let cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes; place in large bowl. Add onions.

Sherry Vinegar Dressing: Meanwhile, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add half to potato mixture; toss to combine. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)   Add remaining dressing and sage; toss to combine.

Tuscan Bean Salad

Kitchen Garden Magazine article by Ruth Lively

1 lb. dry cannellini (white kidney) beans
6 cups water
10 cloves garlic, halved
12 large fresh sage leaves
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tsp. salt
For the dressing:
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced

Sort through beans, discarding debris, then rinse. Put them in a bowl, cover with 8 cups cold water, and let soak overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans. Put them in a large pot with 6 cups water, the garlic, sage, and pepper, but not the salt, which would toughen the beans if added at this point. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower heat and simmer gently, 50-55 min. About 40 min. into cooking, add the salt. When the beans are tender to the tooth, turn off the heat and let them sit while you make the dressing.

Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, sage, and garlic. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. It should be very flavorful.
Drain the beans in a colander, reserving the liquid for another purpose. Put the beans in a bowl and immediately dress them with enough of the vinaigrette to coat them thoroughly. Toss gently and let them sit for a least half an hour. Just before serving, toss again.