Sage is an herb that is popularly used in both Mediterranean and American cuisine.
It’s an herb with a fuzzy exterior and a intense herbal aroma, and a pronounced herbal flavor that is earthy, slightly peppery with hints of mint, eucalyptus, and lemon.
Fresh Dried & Rubbed Sage
Sage can be purchased in 3 different forms. Either fresh leaves with steams, dried ground sage and what is known as rubbed sage.
Some recipes you come across will call for rubbed sage. This is, quite simply, ground sage leaves that have been rubbed into a fine, fluffy powder.
Top To Bottom: Dried Ground Sage – Dried Rubbed Sage
Rubbed sage is milder in flavor than dried ground sage. There’s less earthiness but a slightly bolder sweetness with absolutely no bitterness.
Aldo rubbed sage is a safer and more versatile choice when you’re not sure of how strong a sage flavor you need in your recipe.
It can be used the same as with ground, dried, or fresh sage. Though you will have to use twice as much rubbed sage when substituting it in a recipe that calls for ground sage.
As an example: 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons of rubbed sage can replace 1 cup of fresh sage.
Note that the flavor of rubbed sage intensifies when it is frozen. This would happen if you buy and freeze sausages (processed with rubbed sage) or frozen entrees that could contain rubbed sage.
Cooking With Sage
It’s important to note that sage pairs well with dishes that have ingredients that hold their flavor against the strong features of sage.
Oily fish or fatty meats including turkey, veal, chicken and pork are great items to roast or pan fry with sage. Like this Blackberry Sage Pork Chops.
Blackberry Sage Pork Chops
Fresh sage leaves make a wonderfully delicious addition to a brown butter sauce that can be used as a garnish on a side dishes or in the main dish.
Add a stick of butter to a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, and begins to bubble, start swirling the pan until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Be carful not to burn the butter.
Next, add 10-12 sage leaves and continue swirling the pan until the leaves wilt into the browned butter, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Drizzle the brown butter and sage over roasted vegetables, a bowl of mashed potatoes or mix in with this main dish, Roasted Butternut Squash & Sausage with Gluten-Free Penne Pasta.
Roasted Butternut Squash & Sausage with Gluten-Free Penne Pasta
Sage also pairs best with vegetables that can stand up to its flavor. Like with this Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables & Chicken.
Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables & Chicken
There 28 vegetables that can stand up to the flavor of sage with the most popular ones used by cooks are: asparagus, cabbage, carrots, peas, pumpkin, squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts and potatoes. Like this German Style Bacon Sage & Yellow Potato Hash.
German Style Bacon Sage & Yellow Potato Hash
There are many different fruits that pair well with sage, but some of the most popular include: apple, apricot, peach, grapefruit, and plum.
Sage also pairs well with tropical fruits like pineapple and citrus such as lemon. Sage will even be found in fermented teas made with such fruits.
You can substitute fresh sage for dried or conversely with these conversions:
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage = 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 ounce fresh leaves = 1/2 cup leaves
- 10 thin fresh sage leaves = 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
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