Also known as
Common sage, Garden sage, Kitchen sage, Culinary sage, Dalmatian sage, Broadleaf sage.
Sage is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is commonly grown as a kitchen and medicinal herb or as an ornamental garden plant. It is a small shrub with woody stems, grayish leave and purplish flowers and has a slight peppery flavor.
How to select
Choose fresh sage over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh sage should look fresh and are vibrant green-grey in color. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing.
· Sage is used in marinades to flavour meats, soups, cheeses and some drinks.
· Sage is used with onion for poultry or pork stuffing and also in sauces.
· Sage is sautéed in olive oil and butter until crisp, then plain or stuffed pasta is added to this.
· Mix cooked beans, sage, garlic with olive oil and spread on bread. Gratinate and serve as a snack.
· Sage is used to season tomato sauce and flavour teas.
· Fresh sage is added to omellettes, pizzas, roast chicken etc to enhance flavour.
· Mix sage leaves, bell peppers, cucumbers and sweet onions with plain yogurt to prepare, refreshing salad.
How to store
To store fresh sage leaves, carefully wrap them in a damp paper towel and place inside a loose, closed plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator. It will keep fresh for several days.
· Increased intake of sage as a seasoning in food is recommended for persons with inflammatory conditions (like rheumatoid arthritis),as well as bronchial asthma, and atherosclerosis(hardening of arteries)
· The rosmarinic acid in sage also functions as an antioxidant. The leaves and stems of the sage plant also contain antioxidant enzymes which has ability to stabilize oxygen metabolism.
· Sage tea can be helpful in the treatment of diarrhea and gastritis because of its astringent properties.
· Crushed garden sage leaves can take the sting out of insect bites.
· Sage protects cooking oils from oxidation and extends their shelf life preventing then from rancidity.
Dried sage is air-dried. They are either whole, rubbed or grounded after drying. They are usually packed in small, shakable containers. Dried sage should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months. Discard the sage if it shows sign of mould or looses its flavour and colour. Dried sage is used with other condiments to flavour soups and sauces. It is used while roasting meat, turkey or pork dishes.