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Friday, July 2, 2010

Fried Sage Leaves Make a Delicious Garnish

Amazingly, our potted sage plant survived last winter's low temperatures and six feet of snow. After the thaw, we moved the plant to our herb bed, where it's happily taken off, holding its own against an advancing army of mint.

Sage tends to be used in fall and winter recipes, as it pairs well with turkey, squash, and roasted potatoes. In the summer there's not a whole lot of call for it, unless we use it as a garnish.

Fried in a little olive oil, then sprinkled with sea salt, whole sage leaves make an excellent garnish. Last night we used them to dress up a plain pasta dish; they're also good on risotto. We've even been known to serve them with cocktails.

The only thing you need to remember when frying the leaves is to let them go a while, until they've turned crispy and a dark, kelp-y green. Resist the temptation to turn off the heat when the leaves are a beautiful emerald green—they will be too chewy and resinous.

You can find sage leaves in most supermarkets' produce sections year-round, but it's easy to grow. Some plants overwinter, others don't—there seems to be no rhyme or reason for this. But they all thrive on little water, which makes them excellent candidates for container gardening.


  1. I just tried these the other day - very yummy! Never thought about adding them to risotto, though - that's a great idea - thanks (from me & my overproductive sage plant!)

  2. I love sage and you're right - I always think about it as a colder weather herb. Great idea!