Sage has grown on me. Evoking memories of Thanksgiving meals in grandmother’s kitchen, it is a flavor that I enjoyed but didn’t use much beyond stuffing and sausage.
I nearly always used it in a dried poultry seasoning mix and that was the extent of my experience of this flavorful herb. A valuable herb for containers and a deer resistant plant are many of its attributes, but I love this fresh herb for cooking in fall and winter.
Sage uses in cooking are many beyond the traditional. Fry up the leaves in butter, add some sea salt, and use them scattered on soups, salads, veggies, and other dishes to add crunch and flavor. Use sage in a brown butter saute, add some pine nuts, and toss over butternut squash pasta. Yum!!
Chopped up fresh, sage added to your stuffing for your holiday meal is so much more pungent than the poultry dressing that sits in your herb cabinet and can be several years old. Its flavor is so intense, a little can go a long way.
Sage, Salvia officinalis, is one of the few herbs that, even as its leaves grow larger, the flavor intensifies and the leaves are still delicious after the plant flowers.
A Snap to Grow
Easy to grow either outdoors or inside during the winter, sage is drought tolerant and grows well within a wide range of temperatures and planting zones. Evergreen here in the mid-Atlantic, I still like to have a plant inside as it shrivels outdoors in the cold. The plants also seem to fizzle out within a few years and get woody, and it gives me the opportunity to plant new ones. There are several variations, like a variegated one and purple leaved type that add foliage color to containers.
Preferring a well drained sandy soil, sage is especially suited for container growing as it stays small with regular harvesting. Notice, I say sandy? When you pot up your sage plant indoors, give it grit or sand and it will be happier. I use aquarium gravel from the pet store.
The one caveat is not to over water this herb as it will rot. And indoors, you need to provide plenty of sun. If you don’t have enough sun in a west or southern facing exposure, at least 6-8 hours of sunlight, provide supplemental lighting with a grow light.
One of the most attractive culinary herbs in foliage and flower, the soft blue blooms fit in perfectly in a perennial garden. Usually gardeners plant it separately in an herb garden, but I use it throughout my perennial beds.
Moist flavorful biscuits great for small sandwiches or for soup
- 2 C Flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp cold butter, cut up into pieces
- 3/4 C buttermilk
- 1/4 C Fresh sages leaves, cut up
Measure dry ingredients in large bowl
Wash and dry your sage leaves. Chop up sage leaves into pieces
Add cut up butter into dry ingredients and mix with pastry blender until pieces are no larger than a pea
Add buttermilk and cut up sage leaves and mix with fork into a ball
Turn out onto cutting board dusted with flour and mash down with the heal of your hand until the dough is about 3/4" thick
Cut with biscuit cutter or juice glass to make 8 or 9 biscuits and place on ungreased cookie sheet
Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes until the tops just start to brown
A great addition to these biscuits would be 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.