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Sage advice, please!

eLizard May 15, 2007 07:03 AM

My DH has planted an herb garden and included a flourishing sage plant. I never cook with sage. And now I'm flush with it. Any suggestions?

  1. MMRuth May 15, 2007 07:05 AM

    Sage is lovely breaded and fried - I'll try to find a link to a recipe I posted on it. Also good in a brown butter sauce for pasta. I've also made porchetta stuffed with garlic/parsley/sage.

    Here's the link:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/38110...

    There's also a photo in the first post in the thread of the fried sage leaves.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth
      Gio May 15, 2007 07:11 AM

      And - sage is the herb of choice for poultry stuffing. I have used a bit of it crumpled into a marinara sauce for macaroni. I believe that's a Roman tradition. When dried the flavor of sage intensifies. We always have sage plants in our herb garden. The variegated sages are not only ornamental but also used in cooking.

    2. w
      Westy May 15, 2007 07:06 AM

      Great with chicken. I use it in rubs and also stuffed under the skin. Also many Italian cookbooks will have sage/butter sauces for pasta. Rich but very, very good.

      1. k
        kolgrim May 15, 2007 07:10 AM

        One of my favorite sage preparations is roasted new potatoes with sage. Cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet with a thin film of oil. place a single layer of sage in the oil covering the entire surface of the pan. sprinkle with sea salt. place halved new potatoes, cut side down in a single layer fitting in as many as you can. Bake at 400 fro 45 minutes or until potatoes are done. the sage is criscpy and fried, the potatoes have great taste and texture. you can't go wrong.

        1. LulusMom May 15, 2007 07:11 AM

          I love stuffed pastas with sage butter. Just slice it thinly and put it in with some melting salted butter. Especially good on pumpkin or squash ravioli.

          1. d
            DGresh May 15, 2007 07:28 AM

            I always make veal saltimbocca when I have extra sage-- it's a simple preparation; here's an example:

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

            I actually use Mark Bittman's recipe in HTCE, which uses whole sage leaves, but otherwise I think it's pretty similar to the above, and I'm not near my cookbook.

            1. k
              katecm May 15, 2007 07:47 AM

              You lucky thing, you! Saute onions, throw in chopped sage for the last minute. Crumble in cooked cornbread and toss with chicken broth and chopped prosciutto. Stuff chicken breasts with this, or even a whole chicken.

              For a gravy, melt some butter and toss more sage in. Add flour for a roux, then stir in white wine and broth. Delicious!

              And I definitely agree with a simple brown butter sage sauce with any pasta, topped with parmesan.

              1. Mandymac May 15, 2007 08:23 AM

                My favorite sage dish is polenta, with pancetta and sage stirred in towards the end when teh polenta has thickened up a bit. Fabulous flavor combo, you'll never think of polenta as boring again!

                1. m
                  MakingSense May 15, 2007 08:50 AM

                  Only one plant? We're working on a field. Favorite for cooking is salvia officinalis and I plant the variegateds because they're beautiful. They'll come back year after year and will get huge depending on where you live. Mine and my daughters' are flowering now - fabulous blue flowers. I've pruned mine back for the year and have been feasting.
                  I live in the Mid-Atlantic and can usually get a few sprigs even during the winter from my garden. Since I use it in cooking, I throw some in the freezer rather than drying it as I think it holds the flavor better.

                  Italians use lots of sage so check Hazan's cookbooks. A favorite recipe of mine is similar to her recipe in Essentials for Pork Loin Braised in Milk, Bolognese Style. I leaned to cook this in Italy - same recipe with the addition of about 1/2 cup of sage leaves. Works fabulously with turkey or chicken thighs as well.
                  Sage pairs extremely well with chicken livers. Also great with mild beans such as cannellini. I've used it with small game birds. Sauteed in butter for a very plain pasta dish. If you can use fresh sage in your Thanksgiving dressing, you'll never go back.
                  I use it with tomatoes as long as there's only a little tomato, not in a marinara which overwhelms it IMO.

                  Fresh sage is nothing like that powder marked sage in the grocery store. I don't think this is an herb that should be dried.

                  1. Gin and It May 15, 2007 08:50 AM

                    Sage in aioli is good as a vegetable dip.

                    1. Megiac May 15, 2007 09:38 AM

                      If you have never made the Zuni Cafe chicken before, it is terrific with sage: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9123872/

                      I also love Marcella Hazan's braised pork chops with tomato and sage.

                      1. a
                        AnnaEA May 15, 2007 11:00 AM

                        Sage is good for seasoning white beans.

                        Put 1 cup of white beans in a heavy pot with four cups of water, a tbs of dried sage (I'd use about three fresh), a tbs of salt, and a quarter cup of olive oil. Let simmer over medium low heat until done - any where from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the age of the beans. Add more water as necessary to keep from drying out.

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