What to do with all this sage!

We had a tree fall earlier this year and what was once a sad patch of sage has blossomed into an amazing and beautiful crop. I would typically dry it for use during the colder months but I have so much there must be other things I can do. I like to fry them but not too often (indulgent) and I've never been able to master the awesome sage sauce that some restaurants make. any ideas?



AntoniaJames September 2, 2021
Ah, sage. Such a beautiful herb when it's flourishing. It's flowers can be spectacular, too, as we learned this year, with the plentiful, regular rain here on the high plains of Colorado.

I put our bumper crop of sage to good use in our favorite sage pesto - which I make in great quantities, freezing in 1.5" cubes for future use - is made with 1 ounce of parmesan, 1 cup sage leaves, 1 cup parsley leaves (with tender stems), a pinch of salt, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a splash of olive oil (adding more olive oil if serving over roasted vegetables, etc.). Blitz parmesan in food processor until its consistently chopped into tiny balls or chunks. Add the herbs and salt and blitz again until it's a smooth paste. Add the vinegar and oil and pulse a few times.

This holds well in the coldest part of your fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

We stir it into bean soups; kale, sausage and potato soup; and similar winter stews and soups. As noted above, it's also good slathered (with a bit extra olive oil) on roasted vegetables, notably, wedges of butternut squash roasted with red onions.

It also serves nicely spread as a base layer on pizzas with no tomato sauce.

This is based loosely on a recipe on the Cook's illustrated site for a butternut and white bean soup. ;o)
Greenstuff August 18, 2011
This question has ended up being so much fun! My own feeling about sage is that it's a nice addition to the herb garden, and I simply do not care that I cut it back and compost every year. But I had not really thought about its use in removing bad energy!

Maldon is a very large-flake sea salt from Essex. It's a lot of people's favorite, but never mine, as I find it a little too intense. In another foodpickle question, I learned that despite its large flake, it dissolved quite nicely in baked goods, and I've been thinking of giving that a try.
greathill August 18, 2011
Erica - great link. I discovered David Lebovitz a few months ago. Do you know what Malden Salt is? I thought I knew my salts but this is a new one. wonder if I could use any good kosher salt.
Erica T. August 18, 2011
Make it last all year!

Author Comment
You could use on a pizza. On the dough, spread some really good olive oil, then top with cheeses of your choice (my favorite is gorgonzola to complement the flavor of the sage) and whole sage leaves. You can also add some kalamata olives if you choose. Simple but so delicious.
greathill August 18, 2011
what a great start! I'm not so sure about brushing away the bad energy in my home; my nest is such a haven and I want to keep it that way. Maybe it will help keep my 16 yr-old daughter's room clean (probably not). But I love the idea of prosciutto and chicken! I'm going to try that tomorrow night. And if anyone wants some please let me know! I'll be happy to mail it. my email is [email protected] and I live in western Connecticut.

AntoniaJames August 18, 2011
These are all such terrific ideas. I am not a huge fan of sage, but the chicken, prosciutto and sage idea is now on my must-make-this-week list! ;o)
JessicaBakes August 18, 2011
Absolutely delicious with butternut or kabocha squash as well as liver, if you're into chicken liver.
ChefJune August 18, 2011
I'll send you my address and postage. I really miss the beautiful sage bush my whacky neighbor destroyed last summer along with the rest of my herb garden... :(

Tie together a big, fat whisk-broom-like bunch and burn it. Carry it around your house and smudge out all sorts of yutz and "bad" energy.
cookinginvictoria August 18, 2011
This recipe also may not use that much sage, but it is really yummy. The column Jenny's In the Kitchen recently featured it.


You could also make a couple of batches of Sage Hazelnut Pesto (see above recipe link) and freeze them. That pesto is very versatile and goes great with so many things (pasta, chicken breasts, fish and as a garnish for soups).
boulangere August 18, 2011
What wonderful ideas. I especially love Syronai's gift suggestion.
Helen's A. August 18, 2011
My favorite way to use sage came from Cucina Italiana: Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Wrap with a bit of proscuitto or spec. Wrap with a sage leaf & secure w/ toothpick. Cook in lg saucepan over medium heat. Use a mixture of olive oil and butter until the sage is crispy and the chicken is cooked through. Very addictive. We now make it every time we go camping.
AntoniaJames August 18, 2011
In Cuban adobo . . . it's not going to reduce significantly your bumper crop, but it' is another way to use sage that I'd never heard of until about a month or so ago. I recently posted two recipes, "The Cuban" and "Cuban Adobo Pork Shoulder," which feature it. ;o)
beyondcelery August 18, 2011
I use a leaf or two any time I make a veggie or chicken stock. a 4" stem with leaves is superb in butternut squash soup. It's also fun to bundle the dried and burn as incense. Besides that, I'd dry it in bundles, tie them with nice ribbons, and give them as holiday gifts. If you set a couple to dry near open windows in the nice weather, the breeze will sweep the sage scent through your home for a few weeks.
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