Breath in this aromatic herb and be reminded of Thanksgiving dinners! Sage has a strong, spicy, yet sweet savoury flavour, which is also bitter and varies according to the species. It is actually a type of evergreen plant that has narrow, slightly velvety leaves, pale greenish-grey in colour and is grown in many different species.
HOW TO CHOOSE
Available year-round, sage is an herb that is best when used fresh because it has better aroma and flavor than dried Sage. In fact, drying almost eliminates its lemony scent.
Choose sage that looks fresh and is strongly scented.
To store sage leaves, carefully wrap them in a damp paper towel, and place inside a loosely closed plastic bag. Refrigerator to keep fresh for several days.
As one of the herbs with stockier stems, strip off the leaves by running your fingers down the stem from top to bottom. Unlike many herbs, this one needs to be cooked to develop its full flavour for use in enhancing other foods. However, since the flavour of sage is very delicate, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process so that it will retain its maximum essence
This herb is typically featured in poultry, stuffing, soups, stews, and sauces, as well as sausage.
Quick & Easy Serving Suggestions
- A natural partner for seasoning fatty meats such as pork, lamb, mutton, and game (like goose or duck)
- Goes well with onions, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes
- Often added to stuffing, cheeses, or use to flavor facaccia bread
- The Italians fry sage leaves in butter to flavour pastas
- Use whole sage leaves on chicken breasts or pork chops and pan-fry them in butter.
Complimentary Seasonings The herb’s bold flavour and scent become more powerful when dried. Dried sage goes well with other assertive herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves.
Cooking Tip Holding a strong, somewhat musky flavour, sage should be used sparingly – just a touch enlivens a dish, whereas too much can give a bitter effect.
- You can infuse fresh sage leaves in hot water to make a refreshing tea, good for an upset tummy as well as for freshening your breath
- The rosmarinic acid in sage and rosemary also functions as an antioxidant. When combined, these three components of sage – flavonoids, phenolic acids, and oxygen-handling enzymes – give it a unique capacity for stabilizing oxygen-related metabolism and preventing oxygen-based damage to the cells. Increased intake of sage as a seasoning in food is recommended for persons with inflammatory conditions (like rheumatoid arthritis), as well as bronchial asthma, and atherosclerosis
- Liberally add sage to your favorite soups, stews and casserole recipes. Research published in the June 2003 issue of Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior confirms what herbalists have long known: sage is an outstanding memory enhancer.
Sage, ground, 1 Tbsp (5g)
Total Fat: 0.25g
- An herb that originated in the Mediterranean countries but is now widely cultivated throughout the world
- Known as the healing herb, sage’s name comes from the Latin word salvere, “to save.” Sage also means wise, and any truly sage cook will want to have this fresh herb on hand
- The Greeks and Romans were said to have highly prized the many healing properties of sage. The Romans treated it as sacred and created a special ceremony for gathering sage. Both civilizations used it as a preservative for meat, a tradition that continued until the beginning of refrigeration. What these cultures knew from experience, that sage could help to reduce spoilage, is now being confirmed by science, which has isolated the herb’s numerous terpene antioxidants
- The ability of sage to protect oils from oxidation has also led some companies to experiment with sage as a natural antioxidant additive to cooking oils that can extend shelf life and help avoid rancidity.