When I was a child, I used to play in my mom’s herb garden in the backyard, pinching the leaves and rubbing them between my fingers, sniffing them gleefully. Even though I had no idea how to use them, the smells were heavenly. I loved them all, but sage was always my favorite, with its soft green hue and big velvety leaves concealing a powerful aroma. Sage is from the mint family, but in flavor, it’s more like rosemary, with a hint of pepper. It pairs wonderfully with rich foods, which is why we use it liberally in all our Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing dinners.
But sage isn’t only for special occasions. Chop it up and sprinkle it over potatoes roasted in the oven. Season grilled chicken or pan-seared pork chops with it. Toss it in with freshly cooked pasta. The trick is to use just enough of the herb to complement your dish. Too much and it will hog the spotlight. In a great little article called “Sage – Off the Beaten Aisle,” J.M. Hirsch, food editor at the Associated Press, offers a variety of ways to incorporate sage into meals, based on common cuisines throughout Europe. Hopefully, his ideas will inspire you to be more adventurous with sage!
*Photo courtesy of: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266480.php