Fried Sage Leaves
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IMG_0720I’ll never forget the first time I ate at a really snazzy restaurant – I was sixteen, and yep, someone else was paying. I didn’t know quite the level of “fancy” I was dealing with until they brought me my salad. Full lettuce leaves lay on my plate – not torn up like I was used to, and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I felt really out of sorts for a moment, and looked around the room to see what other people were doing. Eureka! I could cut my salad with my fork and knife! A revelation.

What does that have to do with fried sage? Not much, except for that fact that I’d always had the impression that fried sage leaves were a bit showy and only for fine dining. And the idea of making them at home? Never crossed my mind.

That is, until last week when I was in the garden at Harvest Thyme Herb Farm, and my friend Deirdre explained how. She graciously sent me home with a bundle of sage to play with and I can now say eureka again. Another revelation! Fried sage is something for everyone and for every kitchen. It’s quick, easy, and adds a nice touch to even your breakfast eggs.

If you’re in the predicament of having more sage than you can possibly use, frying the leaves might be a fun new way to celebrate your garden’s bounty. Simply harvest, wash and dry the leaves, and heat your favorite cooking oil. Fry the leaves just until they start to turn color, turning them once, and allow to drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt or Parmesan cheese, and say eureka with me as you take a taste.

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Any other unique herb uses out there you want to share with us today? Let us know in the comments!

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About Brie Aronson

Brie Aronson came to Polyface from southern California. During college, she was diagnosed with food allergies and had to begin asking about the source of every single thing she put in her mouth. This led to an interest in all things food and she sought out a way to learn how it can be produced ethically and sustainably. Her desire is to help people shift their focus from counting calories, being intimidated by their kitchens, and being disconnected from the land to one that experiences the life-giving enjoyment of food. Having completed the internship in summer 2010, she now assists with the buying clubs and sales building, leads school tours of the farm, and will be the summer 2012 farm cook.
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5 Responses to Fried Sage Leaves

  1. Sweet! I have done this once with store-bought sage. Now that I have sage growing in my garden I’m happy that you reminded me of this option!

  2. My favourite is Cleveland Sage from San Diego County. It’s the more fragrant and aromatic of all the Sages for me. I use to collect bunches of it and keep it on the floor of my truck. Use to permeate the interior on warm days. Makes great flavour for western styled beans

    • Againstthegrain says:

      @ Earth’s Internet: Thanks for the Cleveland Sage suggestion. I just love CS-it was one of the first CA natives I tried in my garden in north coastal San Diego County, though I have other non-native sages in the garden, too (for me and the hummingbirds). I also keep dried sprigs of CS in my car – I just can’t get enough of the scent, but I never thought about cooking with it.

  3. Amber Larsen says:

    Wash and dry the sage leaves.Mash the capers with the anchovy paste and spread this mixture onto the darker green sides of 12 of the sage leaves.Press another sage leaf on top of the filling to form a sandwich.To make the batter, lightly whisk the egg and iced water together.Add the flour and whisk again, leaving the mixture a bit lumpy.Do not allow to stand.Heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or wok, until a piece of stale bread turns golden within a few seconds when dropped in.Holding the sage leave sandwiches by the stem, carefully dip them into the batter and lightly shake off the excess.Place the battered leaves in the hot oil a few at a time, and fry until crisp and barely golden.This will only take a few seconds.Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately while warm.

  4. LeeAnn Volle says:

    The fried ones are good, but look a bit like a headless mouse if you keep the stems on. giggle.