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Sage-focused recipes?

I bought some fresh sage a few days ago for a dish I wanted to cook... but sage is such a strong herb that you never need to use that much and now I have lots left over! Any good dinner ideas I can use to take advantage of the rest of the fresh sage?

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  1. - roasted butternut or kabocha squash soup
    - pasta with pancetta, sage, and cream sauce or gnocchi with sage brown butter sauce
    - homemade pizza topped with sage, caramelized onions, and Fontina cheese
    - potatoes with sage & rosemary

    1. This is one of my favorite vegetarian pastas. You *could* use canned cannellini but since there are so few ingredients and the beans are the major one, go for cooking dried beans and enjoy the firm texture and fresh not-over salted flavor of the real thing.

      Rigatoni with White Beans and Tomatoes
      Serving Size: 6

      1 cup dried cannellini beans
      6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
      3 cloves garlic, chopped
      20 leaves fresh sage
      1 1/4 pound fresh tomato, peeled, seeded, juiced and chopped
      salt and freshly ground pepper
      1 pound rigatoni

      Soak beans in cold water to cover for about 12 hours. Drain the beans and transfer them to a heavy saucepan. Add water to cover by about 1 inch and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 1 1/2 hours.

      When the beans have been cooking for about an hour, in a large, shallow saucepan heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and sage leave and sauté, stirring frequently, until the garlic is tanslucent, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the beans, cover the pan with the lid slightly ajar and simmer for 15 minutes.

      Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook until barely al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to the saucepan containing the beans. Raise the heat to medium and stir well to coat the pasta, about a minute. Arrange on a warm platter and serve at once with shards of Parmesan shaved off the block with a veggie peeler or a truffle plane.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rainey

        how could i forget white beans & tomatoes? classic pairing!

        1. re: rainey

          We make another white bean dish with sage. It's pretty simple and can use a whole bunch of sage. In our house, it's called BooBoo Beans, for reasons that will remain a mystery.

          It's simple enough, cook a bunch of white beans - we like baby white limas, but canneilinis or navy beans or whatever works is fine as well. To the beans we add a whole lot of carmelized onion - like 4-5 onions worth, and a whole lot of sage. Best way to do this is whole fried leaves. We don't bother with actually deep frying them, but just sear the leaves in a skillet with olive oil before adding to the beans. Salt and pepper to taste and you are done.

        2. fried sage makes a nice garnish for, say, pork chops or trout. pan-fried trout stuffed with lemon slices and belted with bacon or a strip of italian ham is mighty good with fried sage and/or a drizzle of brown sage butter..

          5 Replies
          1. re: silverhawk

            I have to say that the first time I heard about fried herbs I thought it was just toooo precious. But one day when I had the deep frier out I had fresh herbs nearby and put some in just to see.

            It was *wonderful* what extracting all the moisture did to intensify the flavor and the crunch was just plain old fun. Now I'm a big fan!

            1. re: rainey

              I just saw Wolfgang Puck fry spinach today on Fine Living--he said you could do the same with basil--new to me, and we don't have a deep fryer (yet), but interesting. I wanted to try what he was serving.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                I used to get "Crispy Spinach" at an Asian restaurant in Montreal, it seemed to have sugar on it and be deep fried, tasty.
                And I always post this recipe to sage threads but I just love it so much, more of a Fall dish though...

            2. re: silverhawk

              I, too, am all about the fried sage. On anything. Beans, pasta, pork, grits, bruschetta...
              Just crisp it up in a little oil until it's sort of translucent.
              Would be lovely for topping cornbread or focaccia too!

              You could even throw it in a grilled cheese sandwich for National Grilled Cheese month...

              Sage is also lovely with roasted vegetables...try carrots and cauliflower, roast until really caramelized. Toss the sage in about halfway through, or fry and use as garnish?

            3. Chicken or Veal Saltimbocca!

              1. Saltimbocca! Or, I recently made a fettuccine dish with a sage/rosemary cream sauce with peas, zucchini, and prosciutto which was deliciously spring-y. Don't have the recipe handy at the moment, but I can post it later if you'd like.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Emmmily

                  Here is a similar recipe we made recently. I bought fresh sage specifically for this dish, then promptly forgot to add it as we were throwing it together. DUH! We also added pancetta. Sounds similar to your fettucine dish, Emmmmm..., so here is another tasty, springy variation. It was very delicious and quick to make (I know, so quick we forgot the sage, but still):

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    The more m's the merrier :-) The recipe feature kept deleting steps and changing the order around, but I finally got it working right: http://www.chow.com/recipes/19105

                2. I enjoy making a roast chicken with meyer lemons and sage leaves stuffed under the skin. It gives a subtle flavor to the meat that is quite delicious!

                  1. Thanks for all the ideas so far! I definitely plan to do one of the beans dishes, as well as the pasta with asparagus and peas. I'd completely forgotten about saltimbocca - thanks for reminding me!

                    Now I want to learn how to make fried spinach. I've had it once before at a vegetarian thai restaurant in Montreal.... delicious.

                    1. caramelised onion, sage, blue cheese and fig tart

                      1. Chop it up and garnish it on french fries.

                        1. I make a Pumpkin Sage sauce to top fish...

                          Carmelize onions, reserve 1/3; add pumpkin puree to a pan and heat through, stirring in some roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes, as well as evaporated milk to thin. Pulse the mixture in a food processor to blend, adding more milk if necessary. Return to pan, and stir in sage leaves. Broil fish, then top with sauce, caramelized onions and extra sage to garnish.

                          1. All of the above (and more), or you can always freeze it and save it for Thanksgiving.

                            1. good in brown butter for ravioli -- esp. butternut squash or pumpkin ravioli.

                              good with pork loin, inserted into slits in the meat, along with fresh slices of garlic. drizzle with evoo, and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, s&p, then roast. very tasty!

                              mince it really fine and add to some country sausage to make sausage gravy for biscuits.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: alkapal

                                also good in brown butter for Spaetzle!

                              2. Stick it under the skin, inside and all around a whole chicken and roast. Simple-fantastic.

                                1. Sage is wonderful, as you can see from the many extolling its virtues. It is also easy to grow and drought tolerant. I am growing it just above New Haven (Zone 6 and about 5 degrees cooler than NH) and it comes back fine every year! I don't consider it to have any negatives and it has some pretty, little flowers.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    I've always allowed these to overwinter and then cut them back hard (4-6") once new growth sets in along the branch in spring ... a harsh "haircut" that yields full, fresh leaf.

                                    1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                      does it regain the sage-y flavor that the plant loses over many seasons?

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        There's no loss of flavor with sage ... *strip* last season's, overwintered, foliage.
                                        "Harsh" gives you rooted twigs/branches in spring (rather stark looking) with young growth along the old wood ... it fills out nicely by early/mid summer.

                                        Sage, as a perennial, is usually good for ~5 years ... you can root pinnings off more mature plants.

                                        I still can't get a kick-ass (ie 'flavorful' ... think Cretan) oregano to grow in this zone.

                                        1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                          What zone? I grow good oregano and it keeps coming back (zone 6). Some thyme didn't make it this year. French tarragon comes back. I bring my rosemary in. Now outside, it just blossomed.
                                          BTW, I just grilled a pork loin, "low and slow" over a pan of water and using applewood. I wrapped the whole loin in sage leaves using cooking twine. Sage and black pepper. It was fantastic and reminded me of the duck breast I did in a similar fashion (without the sage).

                                          1. re: Scargod

                                            Oregano beds well but has no "bite" ... likewise "french" tarragon.
                                            I do enjoy my lovage in the spring though ...
                                            give your moules a twist with this leaf!
                                            Sage with fowl is classic ... I smell that roast ;)

                                            1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                              Ya know... I have it growing in my herb garden, but have no idea when to use it. I was thinking it belonged in stews in the place of celery. So spicy raw! Like a celery with jalapeno or black pepper.

                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                Let that plant root ...
                                                it's a spring harbinger and in several years stands 5' tall ... though lanky.
                                                I usually take clippings of young leaves in spring ... a little goes a long way.
                                                This might make an interesting accent to a seasonal (lamb) stew ...
                                                thanks for the idea!

                                  2. I am making this tonight: (from Molto Italiano)


                                    1. My favorite sage recipe is veal cutlets, dredged in flour, salt & pepper and then you stick whole sage leaves onto each side, maybe about 3 or 4, depending on the leaf size and fry. So good. Another great thing to do with sage is to open up the area between the skin and flesh of chicken or turkey and stick the leaves. As it cooks, it flavors the meat and becomes beautiful as you can see it through the skin. I usually do it for thanksgiving turkey but sage is good with poultry all year round. It is also a fantastic perennial herb, that really doesn't die all year round, even in New England. It flowers beautiful lavender flowers too. I often shake the snow off and find beautiful, live leaves ready for those winter suppers.

                                      1. Don't know if your cup of tea (Ha!) but I like a couple of sage leaves, a slice of lemon, topped up with hot water. My mother stayed with some Turkish people for a long time when she was became unwell when on holiday, and they gave her this every morning. pparently sage has antiseptic properties or something too.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: rachelfc

                                          Sage, chamomile, and honey is the go to tea in our house for flus, colds and things of a respiratory nature. The sage has properties similar to eucalyptus and helps to relax and open the chest and nose, the chamomile is calming, and the honey soothes the throat and has healing properties. I'll mix up a baggie of the sage and chamomile, pack it with a mug, a teaball, and a little jar of honey for a get well gift for friends.

                                          1. re: morwen

                                            ginger is also good in respiratory-helpful drinking tea blends.

                                        2. dave liebermans apricot sage chix... google it, I make it to impress or just eat something great

                                          1. Coarsely chop, place in sterilized canning jar, fill jar with good quality olive oil to cover quarter inch above sage, close tightly and store cool& dark. (I keep in fridge) Keeps this way for months and retains fresh flavor & texture. Makes great grilled cheese, good as saute oil, and is good drizzled over lightly steamed vegs.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: MEXfoodie

                                              In the recent book entitled "Chanterelle" from the eponymous NYC restaurant, there was a recipe for Sage Potato Chips whereby a sage leaf was pressed between two thin mandoline-cut potato slices, then either fried, or baked, pressed between two parchment-lined baking sheets. Besides the flavor, the sage leaf shines through the potato-looks great.

                                              1. re: markabauman

                                                Oooooooooh...that sounds beautiful--both to look at and to eat! Will have to give that a try.

                                                1. re: markabauman

                                                  those chips *do* sound delicious. i've seen that done with sage leaves in raviolis in italian pasta cookbooks (and other herbs, too).

                                              2. just had an appetizer at "the hard shell" in richmond, virginia: fried sage in brown butter over pan-seared scallops and "president" brand "creamy and mild" fresh goat cheese from france. it was delicious!

                                                <ps, do try that goat cheese. it was slightly melty on top of the scallops and under the fried sage leaves -- truly fantastic tasting. when i asked our server the brand, and the kitchen told him "president", i was surprised. i had always thought it was more like your grocery store line of "bries, etc.">.

                                                1. While not exactly "Heart Smart" it is one of my favorite Sage dishes.
                                                  I saute shallots in butter, add heavy cream, lightly reduce then add snow peas and pre-cooked gnocchi, reduce another minute then pull from the heat and add slivered prosciutto, Parmesan and plenty of finely chopped sage.
                                                  To keep the cost down at home I always look for prosciutto "ends" at the deli counter in a local Italian market.
                                                  In the fall roasted pumpkin ravioli with sage butter.

                                                  1. Do you make ice cream? Make a vanilla custard ice cream by steeping a split vanilla bean and a sprig of fresh sage in the heated milk and cream for about 20 minutes before adding it to the egg yolks and sugar.

                                                    Or if you don't make ice cream, just make a vanilla-sage creme anglaise the same way without freezing it.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                      Just a guess--that HAS to be even better with pineapple sage. Have you ever tried it?

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        I haven't, but it sounds like another good combo. Vanilla-sage goes well with pears poached in red wine.