Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sage - Mini Herb of the Week

The Men's Garden Club of Villa Park Plant Sale is this weekend and I thought I would share one more herb before the big event.

Sage is a versatile and helpful herb that can be used to flavor food, make scented smoke for grilling, add to stuffing, make a bracing and healing tea and use to clean and disinfect.  Sage is a member of the Salvia family known for its spikes of purple flowers which are very popular in garden landscape.  Culinary sage is not different, when it flowers it too will have spikes of purple.  I like the faintly gray/green color the leaves have when thinking of placement in the landscape.  However there are also other varieties of Sage too, like tri-color sage, golden sage and purple sage.  Each has the same distinctive sage flavor and properties, but they have a distinctive look.

See what I mean:

Using Sage

In addition to incorporating it into the landscape by taking advantage of the colors, leaf and plant shapes and and plant sizes, you can eat sage.  It is an easy herb to dry which is probably why it is so popular in fall and winter dishes.  It has a somewhat warming feel to the scent and flavor which links it well with cool weather, but in the summer, you can place a few sprigs on the coals in the grill to make a scented smoke that is wonderful when grilling vegetables and meats.

I like sage butter, I even posted a how to on making sage butter previously. But there are lots of places the musty flavor of sage can really hit the spot.

I actually shared this recipe earlier this year as a dry rub in a post about Winter Savory, but it works with fresh herbs too.  This is spectacular on poultry for the grill.

Fresh Herb Bouquet Rub 

1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoon finely minced or grated fresh onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 Tablespoons packed fresh sage leaves
about 3 to 5 sprigs fresh savory

Mince all the herbs to a similar size use a mincer or roll the herbs leaves together and cut fine.  Combine the ingredients together in a bowl and allow to rest for 15 minutes.  

To Use: use plain by spreading over surface of chicken, steak or fish before placing on the grill , or blend with lemon juice to form a paste and smear on the tops of meats while grilling.

Sage is a great stress reducer, but the pungent flavor is strong in tea so I suggest mixing it with lemon herbs to give a great tea flavor.

Lemony Sage Tea

Lemon Balm
Lemon Zest 

Combine equal parts of each herb in a glass jar and shake to blend.  Use 1 tsp of herb mixture per cup of boiled water to make a refreshing tea.  Also good iced.

We all know sage is good with chicken, which is why we use it in stuffing, but it makes a great flavor with as a sandwich spread to serve on top of the whole wheat herb bread.

Sage & Tarragon Chicken Salad

One (10 ounce) can chicken breast
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup finely diced celery hearts
2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped fine
salt & pepper - optional

Drain the liquid from the can of chicken breast. Flake with a fork and add to a medium size bowl. Add the mayonnaise, celery hearts, sage and tarragon and mix well. Add salt and pepper if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...