Sage and using it in the kitchen

Discussion in 'Five Star Kitchen' started by sister herb, May 12, 2013.

  1. sister herb
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    Sage herb nutrition facts

    Sharply flavored, sage herb or garden sage is one of the popular pot herbs known since ancient Roman times. This legendary herb with numerous virtues, long held to be the guardian over all other herbs, has been in use in various traditional European and Chinese medicines for its health promoting and disease preventing properties.

    Herb sage is an evergreen perennial shrub commonly seen all over the Mediterranean and south-eastern Europe (Balkan) regions. Botanically, the plant belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, of the genus: Salvia. Scientific name: Salvia officinalis.

    The plant flourishes in well-drained alkaline soil under sunny conditions. It grows up to 75 cm height and feature woody, branching stems. Its aromatic leaves are grey-green, soft and pebble-like textured with fine hair-like filaments growing on either side. It bears violet-blue color bunches of flowers in summer.

    Several cultivars of sage are grown either for medicinal or for culinary purposes.

    Culinary uses

    Sage leaves, in general, are harvested just before flowering for culinary purposes. Discard tough stems and fibers before use in recipes. Wash in cold water to remove soil and sand. Gently pat dry using soft cloth.

    Sage herb is one of the common ingredients in Greek, Italian, and Balkan cuisine.

    Here are some serving tips:

    Fresh leaves can be used in stuffing in season sausages, poultry and fish.
    The herb is also used in many vegetable dishes, especially with beans.
    It is also used as a garnish in herb salads.
    Herbal tea.

    Side Effects

    Concern has been expressed about the internal use of sage due to the presence of thujone. Even when consumed in small amounts for long periods of time, thujone may cause increased heart rate and mental confusion. Very high amounts (several times greater than one receives if taking sage as instructed above), may lead to convulsions. If one takes sage internally, it is best to limit use to the recommended amounts and to periods of no more than one to two weeks. Extracts of sage made with alcohol are likely to be higher in thujone than those made with water. Sage oil should never be consumed without being first diluted in water. Sage should not be used internally during pregnancy. These concerns do not extend to the use of sage as a gargle or mouth rinse. Sage should be avoided when fever is present.


    Sage Walnut Pesto

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    3 cloves of garlic
    1/2 cup of roasted walnuts
    1 cup of sage leaves
    1 cup of flat Italian parsley
    1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
    Directions:
    Mince the garlic and walnuts in a small food processor.
    Add sage, parsley, salt, and pepper and blend in short bursts while pouring in the olive oil.

    Fried Sage Leaves

    Delicate, crunchy fried sage can be crushed and sprinkled on squash or bean soups, served as an accompaniment to burgers, and even eaten whole as a snack.
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    1 bunch fresh sage
    1/4 cup olive oil
    Coarse salt

    1. Pinch off leaves from sage. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
    2. Fry 6–8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.
    Makes about 30 fried leaves.
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    Sage Oil Recipe

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    Ingredients
    2 cups cooking oil (olive oil is a good first oil to try, but any oil will do)
    2 cups lightly packed sage leaves
    Large glass jar with tight fitting lid
    Presentation bottle or oil dispenser
    30 black peppercorns (whole)

    Directions
    Wash and dry sage leaves, and place them in a large glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
    Add 20 or so lightly crushed peppercorns to the jar.
    Heat oil (see note below)
    Pour oil into the jar. Make sure you add enough to cover the leaves.
    (Compress leaves with a mixing spoon until they're submerged in the oil if you have to.)
    Allow the oil to cool completely and secure the lid on the jar.
    Place the jar in a cool, dark spot for two to three weeks. (Test after two weeks to see if the mixture is flavorful enough for your taste. Three weeks should be about the maximum.)
    Shake the jar three or four times a week (whenever you think about it) during the infusion process.
    After two (or three) weeks, pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer and place it in its final container with the 10 additional peppercorns.

    How to Make Sage Oil - Notes and Tips:
    If you don't have enough leaves, you can use sage stems. They produce a stronger and sometimes slightly more resinous flavor, though.
    Harvest sage in the morning after the dew has evaporated but before noon when the sun begins to warm up your herb patch.
    Rinse sage leaves thoroughly and let them dry in a single layer on paper towels.
    The idea is to heat the oil just enough to encourage the sage leaves to release their native oils into the mixture. Too hot, and the oil will cook the leaves -- that's a bad thing. A temperature of around 105 degrees F/40 degrees C or slightly warmer works well.
    Leaves left in the mixture will keep adding flavor intensity over time. If you remove leaves from oil after infusing, you can use them in some other dishes for taste.

    Cautions for Using Sage in Herbal Preparations: It is contraindicated if you are currently taking diabetes, anticonvulsant or sedative medications. For more specifics about drug interactions involving sage, the WebMD Sage page has useful information you'll want to review: Sage Interactions:

    http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-suppl...iveIngredientId=504&activeIngredientName=SAGE
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    Cinnamon-Sage Applesauce

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    Ingredients
    8 tart-sweet apples (like Fuji, McIntosh, or Jonagold)
    ¼ cup water
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    2 tbsp. maple syrup
    1 tbsp. fresh sage, finely minced

    Instructions
    1.Wash apples, but do not peel. Chop into 1×1 inch pieces.
    2.Place apple pieces in large pot and place over medium heat.
    3.Add water and salt; then, bring to a boil. As soon as the pot begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for thirty minutes.
    4.Once apples are soft, remove pot from heat and stir in cinnamon, maple syrup, and fresh sage.
    5.Transfer apple mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth, or use a hand-held electric blender to achieve the desired consistency.

    Time: 1 hour
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    Sage salt

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    Ingredients
    •40 grams of fresh sage leaves
    •30 grams of sea salt

    Pick the sage leaves from the stalks. Save the stalks to make a broth. Mix the sage with Sardinian sea salt. Try Celtic sea salt if you like. It is pale green and has a mossy flavor. Mix the sage and salt in the kitchen machine until the sage leaves dissolve into the salt. The result will be a bright green, earthy aromatic which will mellow with time.
    Put the sage salt in a glass jar with a lid. Save it on a cupboard shelf that is not exposed to heat or direct sunlight. The brightness of the green will fade after a week or so into a fern color. The salt keeps well for many months.

    Suggested combinations
    Use sage salt as a rub for meats and fish. Sprinkle it over fresh pasta, adding a grassy olive oil and some capers. Roast pumpkin with sage salt and red pepper flakes. Toss new potatoes with it, adding lots of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley. Season grilled mushrooms with sage salt, adding a bit of truffle oil.

    Notes
    Save the sage stalks by wrapping them in a towel and putting them in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator. Use a few stalks to cook a pot of beans. Make a broth with tomato and onion and add a few stalks while cooking.
    Stuff a sea bass with sage stalks and garlic and grill it on the barbecue. Serve the bass with fresh corn on the cob.
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    Sage and white bean patties

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    Ingredients
    1 19oz can White Beans
    1 teaspoon Fresh Sage, finely chopped
    1 small Carrot, finely grated
    1/2 Shallot
    1/2 cup Cornmeal
    1/2 cup Plant-based Oil

    Directions
    1.Drain the beans, and reserve two Tbsp of the liquid. Place the beans in a medium bowl and mash well.
    2.Add the sage, carrot, shallot, and reserved liquid, and mix well.
    3.Add the cornmeal, and use your hands to work it evenly into the bean mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    4.Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
    5.Form mixture into six firmly packed patties. Carefully place them, one at a time, in the pan.
    6.When the bottoms of the patties are golden brown (approx. 2-3 minutes), carefully flip them over. When the other side has reached the same color, transfer the patties to a cooling rack placed over a paper towel lined plate.
    7.Allow the patties to cool slightly, then enjoy plain or with a favorite sauce. Serves three to six people.
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    Petti di pollo alla salvia (Sauted chicken breasts with fresh sage)
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    1 1/2 tb butter
    2 chicken breasts; skinless,
    1 1/2 tb lemon juice
    2 1/2 tb Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
    To taste black pepper
    Salt
    14 Fresh sage leaves
    Preparation
    1. Place the chicken breasts in a glass baking dish. Add the lemon juice, 1 1/2 Tb of the oil, and the sage leaves. Turn the chicken to coat evenly, cover, and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
    2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the marinade into a small bowl; reserve the sage leaves separately.
    3. In a medium skillet, melt the butter in the remaining tablespoon of oil over moderately high heat until hot and bubbly. Add the chicken breasts, smooth side down, and cook until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the breasts, and season the cooked side generously with salt and pepper. Tuck the reserved sage leaves around the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on the bottom and just white throughout but still juicy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Do not scorch the sage.
    4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and season the bottom side with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal into thick slices, and arrange on a warmed serving platter. Place the sage leaves over the chicken. Cover loosely with foil.
    5. Discard the fat from the skillet. Heat the skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Add the reserved marinade and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The sauce will boil almost immediately. As soon as it reduces to a brown glaze (less than 1 minute)
    NOTES: This dish requires fresh sage leaves. Can substitute fresh rosemary or fresh tarragon.
    Serve with lemon risotto or simple buttered pasta.
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    Mushroom and sage risotto

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    4 cups chicken broth
    1 1/2 cups arborio rice
    1 stick (4 ounces) butter
    1 pound mushrooms, such as cremini and shiitake, sliced
    1 large shallot
    1/4 cup grapefruit juice
    1 cup grated parmesan cheese
    Grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
    Salt
    1/2 cup fresh sage leaves

    1. In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice; cook for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl; return the broth to the pan and keep warm.
    2. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned; transfer to a plate.
    3. In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened. Add the juice and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the rice, then add the broth, a ladleful at a time, adding more as it absorbs. Cook until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parmesan, 1 tablespoon butter, the mushrooms and the lemon peel; season with salt. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in the sage and cook until the butter turns golden and the sage is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Serve the risotto with the toasted butter and sage.
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    Pumpkin Sage Biscuits

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    2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
    1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
    2 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (this is half of original recipe so double if you want more sage flavor)
    6 Tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes
    1/3 cup buttermilk, cold and well-shaken
    3/4 cup pumpkin puree
    1 Tbsp butter, melted

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F/220C.

    Line a 9 inch round pan with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray; I used a springform pan and it was the perfect size.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda to combine.

    Lightly stir in the chopped sage.

    Drop the cubes of cold butter into the flour and with the paddle attachment, blend on low speed until the mixture looks like coarse meal, with a few pieces of butter still visible.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and pumpkin puree. Add to the flour mixture and blend until the dough just comes together. If the dough is too moist, add a bit more flour and mix until not sticky.

    Pat or roll dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut with 2" biscuit cutters; re-rolling one time after the first cut.

    You should get 10 biscuits that should fit into the 9" pan comfortably.

    Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and brush the melted butter on top of each biscuit.

    Return to the oven for another 2 minutes and bake until risen and lightly golden.

    Serve with the butter or with Sage and Caramelized Shallot Brown Butter

    6 oz butter, divided
    2 shallots
    6 fresh sage leaves

    1.Put 4 oz of butter into a small saucepan; heat on medium heat until a foam appears on the top. Watch carefully until the butter solids turn brown.

    2.Add the minced shallots to the butter and cook on low heat for a minute or two until starting to turn brown.

    3.Remove the butter from the stove, pour into a bowl and refrigerate until solid.

    4.Put onion butter and another 2 oz of butter into a processor and pulse until mixed and smooth. Remove to a clean bowl, add the chopped sage, mix thoroughly and return the butter to the refrigerator to keep firm until ready for serving.

    Notes

    The biscuits will keep in an airtight container for 2 days, or you can make the dough, pat it out, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Cut and bake the next day.

    Source: http://www.creative-culinary.com/sage-compound-butter-and-pumpkin-biscuits/
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    Sage Crackers

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    Makes about 50 crackers

    9 ounces (about 2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
    4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small 1/4-inch pieces
    1 large egg
    3 tablespoons cream
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 to 2 bunches sage (enough for 1 leaf per cracker)

    1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. With a pastry blender or fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Some pea-sized lumps are okay.

    2. In a separate bowl, use a fork to blend the egg, cream, and milk together until smooth. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula or a fork, gently stir until a soft dough forms. If crumbly, drizzle additional milk or cream over, by tablespoons, until the proper consistency is achieved. The dough should not be wet, but should still hold together when pressed.

    3. Form the dough into an flat round, about 1 inch thick. Wrap well with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour. While the dough chills, pick about 50 of the flattest and nicest-looking sage leaves, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425° F.

    4. Lightly oil a large baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. On a floured surface, roll the dough out relatively thinly, between 1/16 and 1/8 inch thick. Periodically lift and rotate dough to ensure that it is not sticking, dusting with additional flour if necessary.

    5. If making square crackers, cut dough into 1 inch strips with a round (pizza) cutter, or a bench scraper. Arrange sage leaves diagonally on the strips, pressing each one gently into the dough, then cut each cracker to size. If making round crackers, cut the dough into rounds using a 2 to 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Press 1 or 2 sage leaves gently into the dough.

    6. Transfer each cracker to the prepared baking sheet, leaf-side down. Dock each cracker several times with a fork. If the butter seems soft in the dough, or if you can see that it has melted a little while cutting, cover the baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up the dough. Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut into desired shapes. Refrigerate if necessary.

    7. Bake crackers leaf-side down at 425° F / 220 C oven for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and turn the crackers over. Sprinkle with salt if desired, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until crackers are lightly browned. Remove crackers to a rack to cool completely.

    Notes:

    1. In step 7, it may help the salt to adhere to the crackers if they are brushed with a little olive oil or melted butter first; or, the extra salt may be omitted totally.

    Source: http://www.abreadaday.com/?p=998
  10. sister herb
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    Sage Butter Biscuits

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    Yield:
    makes 12 to 15 biscuits
    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients:

    15 to 20 fresh sage leaves
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F/220 C.

    Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add butter. Once it's melted and sizzling, add in the sage leaves and use a fork or slotted spoon to stir and coat the sage in the butter. Cook until the sage is crispy, flipping once or twice, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the sage and place it on a paper towel to slightly dry.

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Crumble the sage between your fingers and add it to the dry ingredients. Using a fork, pastry blender or your hands, add the cold butter pieces to the flour and mix until coarse little crumbles remain. I use my hands and mix for almost 5 minutes. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, stirring with a large spoon until just combined, not overmixing. Use your hands if needed to bring the dough together – I did.

    Pat dough into a circle that is about 1 1/2 inches thick. This will make TALL biscuits! Using a biscuit/cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place on a nonstick baking sheet. You may need to bring the dough together and flatten it more to get the last few biscuits. Additionally, you could also just drop large spoonfuls of batter on the baking sheet and form them that way.

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    Bake the biscuits for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are golden and high. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

    Source: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/11/sage-butter-biscuits/

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