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Ideas for using fresh sage

Fall is fast upon us and we're using and storing the fresh herbs from our garden. We've had fresh sage for years but haven't done too much with it.

What are your best ways to use sage? Interested in all ideas.

I know that some recipes call for you to heat up sage leaves in oil. But then I can't remember what you do after that. Ravioli? Anything along those lines?

Plus anything else.

Also good ways to preserve it for winter.

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  1. In a white bean soup? It goes well with creamy beans or chickpeas,
    With some squash or roasted veggies? It's great with butternut squash.

    Sage is really good in brown butter, for gnocchi, ravioli, pasta?

    Under the skin on a roasted chicken, with lots of butter to crisp the skin up.

    Here's an interesting recipe for battered sage leaves:

    You’ll need:
    100g plain flour
    0.25 tsp salt
    small pinch of baking soda
    approx. 200ml pale ale
    plenty of olive oil for frying
    1 egg white
    60-80 large sage leaves, with stems if possible, washed and patted dry
    You’ll also need:
    You can use a deep fat fryer if you have one, otherwise use a deep frying pan or wok for this.
    The Steps:
    Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl, then add the beer and mix gently to a (fairly runny) batter, taking care to remove any lumps.
    Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
    When you’re ready to start frying, fill your pan with oil to a depth of about 2-3cm and place over a medium-high heat.
    While the oil is heating, add a pinch of salt to the egg white and whisk until stiff peaks form, then gently fold the egg white into the chilled batter.
    Check to see that the oil is hot enough to start frying: if you have a suitable thermometer, look for a temperature of about 180C, otherwise a drop of batter should sizzle immediately and brown quickly. If the oil is smoking, remove from the heat to let it cool a bit before proceeding.
    Now, working in small batches, dip the sage leaves into the batter and fry, turning once, until crisped up and golden, 1-2 minutes. Remove with a tongs or slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot, perhaps with the rest of that beer that you had to open for the batter.
    The Variations:
    You could, of course, put some additional flavouring into the batter – a little hit of chilli might work well.
    The Results:
    Enough beer-battered sage leaves for 10 or so people to nibble on.

    1. To preserve it, you can dry it in a 150 deg. oven till it's brittle, or, take a quart jar, stuff in the sage and freeze it. I keep my dill this way. I like sage steeped in black tea, like the Saudi's make it. Or you could wrap it in bundles for native American 'smudge sticks'.
      Here's a link to a very informative page on sage, with recipes: http://homecooking.about.com/library/...

      1. Yah, I agree sage is great with chicken or pork. And in cornbread stuffing.
        Sage brown butter is a fantastic idea.
        I would add the possibility of making sage compound butter.
        And perhaps an application towards sweet rather than savory- candied sage leaves for a dessert garnish, or a sage infused creme brulee

        Lots of good ideas at that link in the last post- thanks, weewah.

        1. A couple of weeks on The Splendid Table Lynne talked with a listener about using sage - toward the end of the program

          1. One of my favorites it to braise a pork roast (shoulder, butt, etc...) using equal parts apple juice & chicken broth for the liquid, I also add whatever veg I have on hand for flavoring & a couple good handfuls of roughly chopped sage.

            Another dish I make is chicken with a lemon sage sauce. Similar to piccata but w/o the capers.

            1. Pork, veal and chicken love sage. Saltimbocca comes to mind with any of them.
              Pumpkin ravioli with sage browned butter and hazelnuts.
              Make your own sausage patties.

              1 Reply
              1. re: monavano

                Definitely with you on saltimbocca!

                Also, it's great with butternut squash. I steep it with butternut squash cubes cooked in some milk and broth. Remove the sage and puree the squash, then mix in cooked cauliflower, pasta, and gruyere, then bake. I usually add some chiffonaded sage to that, too. Or cube squash and roast it with mushrooms and sage, then top with blue cheese. So good.

              2. You could try the River Cottage's recipe for Elixir of Sage - just an alcohol infusion. http://friendsandhammers.wordpress.co... Seems like it'd be nice to splash into braising liquids and tea.

                1. I make a pumpkin pasta dish with fresh sage. Cook some pasta. Saute up some onions, garlic, and your choice of sausague...I usually do a chicken sausage with fall flavors. Add cream, pumpkin, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg....it's yummy. Oh, throw in some chicken stock too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rizzo0904

                    Similar to the recipe I use for Pumpkin Sausage sauce, with the addition of wine and minus the cream. It freezes beautifully.


                  2. Sage-and-onion is the classic combination; an interesting take is to use it with lamb's liver. You can make a one-pot dish by dipping some thin slices in flour and putting them in the base of an ovenproof dish. Scatter over some chopped onion and sage, and then pile on some sliced new potatoes. Pour over some stock mixed with a little tomato puree and red wine and bake 1 hour. This is a very good combination of flavours that even people who don't usually like liver seem to like.

                    1. You can press a couple of sage leaves onto a buttered boneless chicken breast (or a very firm cod filet), wrap it in proscuitto, dredge it in flour and pan-fry it. I also used sage recently in a chickpea soup.

                      1. Fagioli all'Uccelletto. Basically evoo, garlic, sage, tomatoes and cannellini beans.

                        1. I really enjoyed sage in a split pea soup with roasted garlic (from the Rebar cookbook) - one of the best split pea soups I've ever had.

                          Another idea is to make baked Tuscan beans with tomatoes and sage. Or forget the tomatoes and just make baked beans with an assortment of herbs and roasted garlic - also yum.

                          1. Each harvest I make lovely sage jelly that is brilliant with roast goose, duck or lamb.

                            1. Thanks everyone! Fantastic ideas.

                              We'll be heading for the kitchen.