The one herb I can count on throughout fall and well into winter, snow permitting, is sage. This is one hardy plant. Sage grows into a woody shrub that can be short lived. I find that frequent pruning helps keep it rejuvenate, so don’t be afraid to snip and use your sage. Common sage is the most flavorful, but golden, purple and tri-colored sages are also tasty and quite beautiful plants.
Sage has a strong flavor and a little goes a long way. It’s a classic with Tuscan white beans and Thanksgiving stuffing. Sage is particularly good with carbs like potatoes and rice or risotto. Because it helps digest fatty foods, it makes a great compliment to pork, lamb and sausages. And don’t over look it with cheeses and to give tomato sauces a distinctive flavor.
Sage even plays well with other Mediterranean herbs like oregano, bay, rosemary and thyme. Of course, it pairs well with garlic – but what doesn’t?
You can use sage leaves fresh or dried. Fresh leaves slowly lose their flavor as they cook, so add them toward the end of cooking. It’s much more potent when dried.
Measuring fresh leaves requires some discretion, since size and flavor will vary. Some approximate measurements:
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped sage = 1 teaspoon dried
1 ounce fresh leaves = 1 cup leaves
6 thin fresh sage leaves = ½ teaspoon dried sage