Once your herb garden is underway, you’ll need to learn how to cook with sage. Sage is simple to grow in a sunny garden or a container garden, and when it gets going, you’ll have a lot of it! Here are a handful of ways to spice up your meals.
Flavored Vinegar and Olive Oil
If you’ve enjoyed herb-infused oils and vinegars in restaurants, you’ll be happy to know that making them at home is simple and inexpensive. All you need is:
- Herbs (in this case, 1 cup sage)
- A glass jar
- 1 cup oil or vinegar
Wash and dry your sage before adding to your jar. Pour in about a cup of oil or vinegar (I like to use apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar), and let sit somewhere cool and dark. Keep an eye on it—if your sage leaves need to be moistened, swirl the jar a bit.
You may find sage vinegar is just the addition you needed for your salad dressings and marinades.
Spice up Roasted Potatoes
Zest up your potatoes with sage! Start with this recipe, but adjust the ingredients to make it your own.
Here are your ingredients:
- 3 to 4 lbs. potatoes (Yukon Gold is a good choice)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 6 to 10 sage leaves, chopped
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, clean and cut the potatoes. Try to keep the size consistent for an even roasting time. Toss potatoes with olive oil and chopped sage leaves. Roast for 30 minutes, then stir in kosher salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the garlic. Roast again for 30 minutes or until brown.
Bake a Loaf of Olive Bread
A great way to begin cooking with sage is to add it to recipes you already love. If you bake bread (or muffins), try adding sage for an herb taste.
One of my favorites is olive bread with sage and onion. Here are your ingredients:
- 1¾ cups flour
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup milk, warmed (plus a bit to brush on top)
- ¼ cup warm water
- 3 to 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 10 to 20 sage leaves, chopped (save a few whole leaves for the top)
- ½ cup Kalamata olives
Sift flour into a bowl, and then add yeast, sugar, and salt. Pour warm milk and water to the bowl, and stir with a wooden spoon. Next, gather your dough into a ball and knead it for 5 to 10 minutes. Once you have a smooth ball of dough, allow it to rise for 45 minutes in a lightly oiled bowl.
While your dough rises, melt the butter and cook the onions and sage for a few minutes. If you’d like, you can add garlic and spices at this point, too. Allow your mixture to cool.
Place your dough, which should have about doubled in size at this point, on a floured surface. Flatten the ball of dough into a rectangle shape and spoon your onions, sage, and olives on top. Knead a few times, and create a loaf shape. Place your loaf on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and rise again (about 45 minutes).
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the top of the loaf with milk, place whole sage leaves on top, and brush with milk again. Bake for 30 minutes.
Add Sage to Butter or Honey
To add flavor to your butter, leave a half-pound of butter out until it reaches room temperature. Chop up about a quarter-cup fresh sage, and blend it with the butter. You can also add parsley, if you’d like. Take your herbed butter, place it on a sheet of parchment paper, and roll into a log. After it’s wrapped in plastic wrap, refrigerate or freeze. Sage butter is great on pasta, bread, or served with a fall meal.
If you still have a handful of leaves left after making the butter, add them to a pot of honey. Get a very clean jar, either by sanitizing it in boiling water or cleaning it on the sanitize cycle of your dishwasher. Once the jar is dry, add the sage to it and pour in your local honey. Let the flavors meld for a week or two. Herb-infused honey can be a great addition to a cup of tea or a fun element on a cheese plate.
Now that you have ideas on how to cook with sage, let us know how they come out by tweeting @TomsofMaine!
Image source: Mali Anderson
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