Summer recipes for fresh sage
August 3, 2011 7:20 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite summer-friendly recipes that feature fresh sage?

To my surprise, I've managed to grow a few thriving sage plants. I'd like to start using it, but I have never cooked with fresh sage before.

All the sage-centric dishes I know are hearty winter foods like stuffing and squash soup. With highs in the hundreds, I'm looking for something a bit more refreshing.

Got any good ideas?
posted by crackingdes to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sage butter gnocchi!
posted by amileighs at 7:26 AM on August 3, 2011

This is one of my husband's and my favorite pasta recipes, which I think is perfectly appropriate for summer (we just had some a week ago).

The recipe is originally from the Vegetarian Times Cookbook; the only thing the online version doesn't mention is that the recommended grated cheese is Monterey Jack (sounds weird but it's delicious--if you're really averse I expect Parmesan would work OK too).
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:28 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: Or, just use the sage butter from the above on pasta.

The ever-wonderful blog "Chocolate and Zucchini" had an entry that was all about 45 things you can do with fresh sage, and a lot of them definitely work in summer (the saltimbocca treatment for fish sounds wonderful).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:31 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: And -- duh on me, saltimbocca itself is also a good one (that's super-easy -- take veal or chicken cutlets, lay some fresh sage leaves on each one, wrap proscuito around it, and grill or saute the wrapped-up cutlets).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Put 3-4 sage leaves on a chicken breast. Wrap breast in prosciutto. Grill. Yum.
posted by cocoagirl at 7:48 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: I make sage butter cheese ravioli all the time. They are the best thing ever.
posted by lydhre at 7:51 AM on August 3, 2011

We make a pasta salad with shells or lumache, chickpeas, chopped onion, red pepper, olive oil, and whatever herbs we have on hand (usually parsley and sage). I think we adapted it from a cookbook by Deborah Madsen.
posted by muddgirl at 7:57 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: A staple dish for us this summer has been cheese ravioli with sage leaves fried in brown butter. I also make sage pesto (cut the sage with some parsley, it can be a little overwhelming.)

Pesto freezes very well -- I make it as often as I can all summer and freeze it in 4 oz jars, which gives us a fast, delicious pasta dinner option all winter. (When I make it for the freezer, I leave out the cheese, which can get kind of gummy after defrosting, and go easy on the garlic, which can intensify weirdly. I just add these to the dish at the end.)
posted by desuetude at 7:57 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: Aside from the fried sage leaves mentioned above, I use sage in biscuits all the time. I also make simple syrup with it. Muddle a cucumber in the sage simple syrup, add some Hendrick's gin and then either top with prosecco or not, depending on your preference.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:05 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We have an overabundance of sage right now as well. I made a switchel with it for hot days. Simmer two handfuls of washed sage leaves and the rind of one lemon (no pith!) with 2 oz of sugar in 4-6 cups of water. Let it steep for 20-30 minutes. At the end of the steeping time, add in the juice of the lemon you just rinded, and chill.

It tastes good by itself, but would probably also taste good with a bit of gin.
posted by LN at 8:14 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: Mrs C deep-fries the sage leaves (for a very, very short time, obviously) until crisp, to go on a squash risotto.

posted by monkey closet at 8:22 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

You must try fresh sage tea. Put 2-3 large or 4-6 small leaves at the bottom of a cup. Pour hot water over them, and steep for 5 minutes before drinking. It is my favorite herbal tea evah.

I haven't tried it iced, but presumably that'd be good, too.
posted by BrashTech at 8:39 AM on August 3, 2011

Sage is great in cocktails.
posted by Miko at 8:59 AM on August 3, 2011

Sage makes a good addition to any cold potato salad.
posted by mkb at 9:33 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: EmpressCallipygos: saltimbocca itself is also a good one (that's super-easy -- take veal or chicken cutlets, lay some fresh sage leaves on each one, wrap proscuito around it, and grill or saute the wrapped-up cutlets.

Beat me to it! I clicked into this thread to post the same thing. Saltimbocca is great stuff. If you don't mind the extra carbs, lightly coating those in flour and pan frying in extra virgin olive oil is also fantastic. I think I watched an online video sometime ago where Mario Batali did it that way. Very similar to the recipe you mentioned, but can also include pork cutlets (oh and don't forget to season with pepper...lightly on the salt as the prosciutto will add some saltiness on its own...very easy to experiment with this dish). Cook one side 70%, flip, cook the rest.

The remaining juices in the pan can be used to create a butter/white wine reduction to finish off the cutlets. Although I find they stand out on their own as a very simple yet tasty meal that incorporates sage.
posted by samsara at 10:17 AM on August 3, 2011

Cook a mess of sage down in water and sugar to make a simple syrup. Once you strain out the leaves, you can use it as a sweetener in baked goods or drinks. It's really fantastic in lemonade, especially if you combine that with some other kind of fresh berry.
posted by Diagonalize at 11:25 AM on August 3, 2011

Best answer: My favourite use of sage ever is slices of parboiled sweet potato wrapped in fresh sage and prosciutto and then cooked until a little crispy around the edges. The kicker? They're amazing cold too. So, I could totally see them as a summer picnic-y food. (recipe on NYtimes)
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 4:24 PM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Peter Burley has a great recipe for tomato soup from his somewhat hit and miss book The Flexitarian Table. I can't find it online but basically:

Slice two onions and two smallish carrots, saute them in a pot with a generous glug of olive oil, with the slide on and a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes (until carrot is soft).

Add a sachet or two of tomato paste, some garlic to taste, and chilli flakes. Stir for three or four minutes to cook the garlic.

Add 6 or so peeled good quality tomatoes, or a small can of crushed tomatoes, two cups or more stock, the peel of one orange from a potato peeler, and a bunch of sage. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the peel and sage, blend the rest up. You get a gloriously spicy, livid soup. The combination of zest and sage is subtle but truly excellent.
posted by smoke at 5:07 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

FYI, sage generally pairs very well with sweet vegetables; pumpkin, sweet potato and the like.
posted by smoke at 5:08 PM on August 3, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for so many good ideas. There are way too many good answers here to pick just a few. I'm going to highlight a few that were most interesting to me, but thanks to all for taking time to share your tips. The beverage ideas were especially intriguing, I hadn't even really thought of that.
posted by crackingdes at 5:02 PM on August 5, 2011

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