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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Five Tasty Ways to Use Sage in the Summertime

Sage is a wonderful but weird herb—wonderful because its deep, resinous flavor complements pork, chicken, potatoes, and squash so well, but weird because it flourishes in the summertime, when we tend to eat dishes that call for greener, more delicate herbs, like cilantro and basil. But you don't need to limit your sage use to Thanksgiving.

Here are five delicious ways to use sage in the summertime.

1. Sage and walnut pesto on pork or potatoes. This hearty pesto even works on the grill!

2. Crunchy fried sage leaves to garnish pasta or risotto or eat by themselves as a cocktail snack.

3. Roast potatoes with sage. Line a pan with whole sage leaves, then cover them with halved potatoes. The result: crunchy, creamy bliss.

4. White beans with sage and garlic. There's nothing easier than boiling some white beans with sage, garlic, and a little olive oil. You can eat them hot or cool them to use in a summer salad.

5. Sage vinaigrette. Add some chopped sage to a mustard vinaigrette for a tangy dressing on grilled or steamed vegetables.

Sage is a very easy plant to grow; it's disease-resistant and likes dry conditions. Depending on your climate, some plants will "winter over," providing years of tasty service.

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