Uses for sage.

Date: Sun, 5 May 1996 12:07:26 -0400
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Sara Anne Corrigan <SaraAnneC.AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: sage

Hello Ellen;

> Can someone provide some general guidelines about what to do with sage.
> Is it a perenial or an annual?

I grew up thinking the only use for sage was making turkey stuffing at Thanksgiving time.

Now I grow this hardy, sun-loving but otherwise trouble free perennial -- actually several varieties -- and use it for a variety of savory vegetable dishes. I use it fresh early in the season then gather it to dry for winter.

Try sauteeing coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves with onions in butter or vegetable oil (butter tastes better). Just slice up three or four cups of onion (or more; they cook down a lot), saute over a medium heat so the onion cooks slowly without burning, then, about five minutes before you are ready to finish, toss in a generous handful of fresh sage. Add a few pinches of brown sugar and saute until sage leaves are limp and fragrant. This dish works well with dry rubbed sage, too. And you can do it with par-boiled and sliced potatoes added to the onions at the beginning of the procedure. This dish is good hot, or cold, as a sandwich filling.

Another thing I like to do is slice several medium sized potatoes into rounds about ⅓ to ½ inch thick, arranging them so you can pair them up according to size as you work. Melt a good quanity of butter or margarine. Season with garlic, if desired. Dip a slice of potato in melted butter, set it on a cookie sheet, then lay a whole, large sage leaf on top; sprinkle with salt and black pepper as desired. Dip the next slice of potato in butter and lay it on top of the sage leaf, like a little sandwich. Repeat this process with all of the potato slices then place the cookie sheet(s) in a hot oven (about 400 degrees is good) and roast them until they turn light golden brown. The first time I served these, at a backyard barbecue, they got rave reviews.

Good luck growing this rewarding herb!

From: "Mary E. Hall" <IOMA2.AOL.COM>

Sara's potato recipe sounds similar to something we do, one version at least. We slice the potatoes *really* thin, slather on the spicing, lay them out on cookie sheets, and cook them until they crisp and brown. (Another version makes them spicy). Without the butter, because that's one way for us to keep our fat intake down--it tastes great even to people who want rich food.

My favorite thing to do with sage is chicken. I cut the chicken into thin strips across the grain--since I learned how to butterfly, I'll do that instead. Then I heat up the cast-iron skillet and mash sage all over the chicken while I do. A little salt, maybe a little something else if I'm feeling experimental. This too we cook in as little butter as we can get away with, just enough to carmelize it a bit and keep me from breaking the seasoning on the cast-iron.

My favorite thing to eat with it a sweet cucumber and tomato salad and a nice soft roll...and I think I'm going to try Janice's sage cheese on the roll later this summer!

From: "Mary E. Hall" <IOMA2.AOL.COM>

Janice sez:
>It is also a Medicinal herb.

Robert reading through these later points out "It is one that must be used in moderation. It suppresses sweating, which can in hot weather cause your body temperature to elevate. And large doses can give you belly aches and light-headedness."

And that made me remember that co-workers also say it helps them break a string of insomnia if they use it in cooking.


From: Laura Hamilton <mslaura.SFSU.EDU>

Sage can be used in small amounts to reduce sweating if you think that you have a problem with sweaty palms, excessive perspiration, etc. It also can be used in a strong tea as a mouth rinse to dry up canker sores, but may leave you with a generally dry mouth.

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