Real Food for Real Life

Sunday, May 23, 2010

45 things to do with fresh sage...

 This photo is from May 15th.  
The variegated sage is front and center (it is much larger already).

While I always enjoy our camping excursions, and this past cub scout weekend event was fantastic, I am always glad to be home again when it is all done (this applies to vacations as well).  We're home now, tired and satisfied with the week, so while I was awaiting the bedtime hour (I don't want to sleep too early and be up at 4am), I decided to catch up on my blog reading.  One of my regular reads is the well known Chocolate and Zucchini.  Clotilde's most recent post covers the many, many things you can do with fresh sage.  In light of the beautiful variegated sage I now have growing in my kitchen window box, this resonated with me.  I have grown this beautiful (and tasty) sage before, and it ultimately becomes a fairly large and bushy plant.  I love to make sage browned butter with it, and use it in numerous other ways, but it always produces more than I can use fresh (but feast is always better :).  Clotilde's post gives me many more ways to use my bountiful sage, so I am copying it verbatim below.  Hopefully you will find this as inspirational as I have...

Sage pairings:
- Sage + eggs (i.e. in an omelette)
- Sage + chicken (i.e. roast chicken with sage and lemon inside the cavity)
- Sage + lamb (i.e. in lamb burger patties)
- Sage + fried liver + croutons
- Sage + polenta
- Sage + onion (i.e. in stuffing)
- Sage + white beans (i.e. in white bean hummous or an open sandwich)
- Sage + apple
- Sage + pineapple
- Sage + roasted peanuts

Sage uses:
- Sage butter on gnocchi
- Sage butter on ravioli, especially pumpkin ravioli
- Sage butter on trout
- Sage olive oil with pasta and parmesan
- Put some leaves into pesto with other herbs.
- Add sage to duck sausage.
- Add sage to bean dishes.
- Infuse honey with sage.
- Use with parsley, rosemary and thyme in chicken risotti and soups.
- Add along with fresh parsley, basil, thyme, and rosemary to tomato sauces.
- Deep-fry the leaves and serve as an appetizer, or use as a garnish for poultry, meat dishes, or pasta.

Recipe ideas:
- Sandwich an anchovy between two leaves, batter and fry for great antipasto.
- Feta, prosciutto and sage involtini
- Sage on asparagus with shaved pecorino
- Lay two sage leaves over a long slice of sweet potato and wrap with a slice of prosciutto. Roast for 20 minutes or so with some olive oil (credit to Mark Bittman).
- Italian bread and cabbage soup with sage butter
- Roast butternut squash on a thick bed of it.
- Sage and goats' cheese gnocchi
- Sweet potato gnocchi with chestnuts and fried sage
- Put leaves on fish, wrap in prosciutto and sear in clarified butter and olive oil; finish in the oven.
- Take half a chicken breast, place 2 or 3 sage leaves on top, wrap in Parma ham, pack in foil, bake at 180°C (360°F). Open top side of package, pour in some dry white wine, and leave open in oven for 20 more minutes or until done.
- Wrap a flattened chicken thigh in prosciutto with a leaf of sage and pan-cook.
- Pan-fry chicken breasts, add sage, red onion, lemon & crème fraîche.
- Sauté chicken livers with shallots and sage, season, then add a little cream. Toss through pappardelle.
- Sauté lamb chops with a sage leaf on each side.
- Saltimboca (veal, sage and prosciutto)
- Pork, sage and apple burgers
- Mold around a piece of pork sausage (out of casing), batter and fry.
- Sage and cheddar biscuits or pumpkin sage biscuits
- Sage ice cream
- Sage panna cotta

Other uses:
- Freeze in ice cubes for summer drinks.
- Go native and use the dry sage leftovers to purify your kitchen from evil spirits (see smudge sticks).
- Sage tea is a great remedy for sore throat.
- Sage plants give the most beautiful blooms!

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