Sage is best recognized for its hairy exterior and powerful herbal aroma, making it a bold accessory to any dish. Grown mainly in the Mediterranean, this fragrant herb has metamorphosed from an ancient medicinal tool to a multifaceted ingredient in dishes ranging from hearty American stuffings to moderate Chinese herbal teas.
What Is Sage?
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a perennial herb indigenous to the Mediterranean region, identified by its light gray-green, soft leaves. This herb is a part of the mint family and flaunts an earthy, sweet-yet-savory zing that makes it the perfect accessory to heavy, healthy dishes like stuffing, sausage, winter squash recipes, cured meats, and creamy pasta dishes.
The kind of sage available in most supermarkets and farmer’s markets has many names, including culinary sage, common sage, dalmatian sage, true sage, garden sage, and kitchen sage.
What Is the Story of the Sage Plant?
Generally believed to have been founded in the Balkan Peninsula, sage has a culinary and healing memoir dating back so many centuries ago. In ancient Rome, this remarkable herb was used to treat ailments varying from digestive issues to bleeding cuts. The plant’s reliability was so notable that the great European emperor, Charlemagne, directed that the herb be grown in mass numbers for medicinal and trade purposes in the Middle Ages.
The Chinese, who shipped sage from Europe, employed the herb in natural medicine to treat illnesses like joint pain, kidney failure, typhoid fever, cold, flu, and sore throat. Sage then became so successful in Asia that the Chinese swapped away four pounds of their local tea for every single pound of sage tea.
What is Sage Taste Like?
Sage has a definite herbal flavor that is an earthy, somewhat peppery taste with hints of mint, lemon, and eucalyptus. It works excellently in heavier dishes with rich constituents that can hold their own against such a strong flavor.
How to Make Dishes With Sage
A million thanks to this plant’s strong flavor and aroma, it is recommended to add sage at the very start of the cooking procedure, rather than when one is almost done cooking like many delicate herbs. Deep-frying a potent herb like sage mellows its zest. Well, it is said that for a heightened flavor in every dish, fried sage can be crumbled over such a dish at the last moment. Interestingly, if one is looking out to add some herbaceousness to sauces, meat marinades, compound jars of butter, loaves of bread, and pastries, Sage is the first herb that should come to mind. Add fresh sage leaves to teas and cocktails for an instant hit of herbal aftertaste.
In Italy, sage offers an aromatic counting to creamy pasta dishes and rich Italian tomato sauces, while in France, chefs utilize this herb in sausage fillings and also pair it with other sweet-smelling herbs like summer savory, bay leaf, flat-leaf parsley, and sweet basil in herb bouquets, like bouquet garni. On tour to Canada and the United States, sage is revealed to be the best-known ingredient in Thanksgiving stuffing, traditional dishes, and turkey dishes. One of the best and most familiar pairings for sage is browned butter, which offers just the perfect addition to easy going pasta dishes or simple vegetable and chicken recipes.
Ten Recipes With Sage
- Chicken With Sage Browned Butter and Apples. In order to achieve this, we first get our pan-roasted chicken cooked in sage-infused browned butter and then attractively blend in with sliced, sautéed apples.
- Sage Bread Knots: This is quite simple. All we do here is get our bread knots evenly herb-laced with dried sage.
- White Bean, Sage Soup, and Sausage: This recipe is simply a light tomato-based soup prepared with cannellini beans, fresh sage, sausage, chicken stock, garlic, and white wine.
- Classic Holiday Stuffing: This is made with a classic holiday in mind. The classic holiday stuffing is prepared with onions, fresh sage, sliced crusty bread, chicken stock, butter, and egg.
- Pasta With Fried Sage and Pine Nuts: This recipe is made from fresh pasta dipped in a sauce of olive oil, kosher salt, browned butter, and black pepper draped in fried sage Parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts.
- Chicken Pot Pie: A healthful chicken pot pie prepared with roast carrots, garlic, onions, and cauliflower in a creamy sauce with diced sage and rosemary.
- Roasted Acorn Squash: Here, we have perfectly sliced acorn squash attractively tossed in olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper, baked at 375ºF for about thirty minutes.
- Roasted Pork With Rosemary and Sage: Oven-roasted pork tenderloin dressed in olive oil, rosemary, minced sage, garlic.
- Gin and Sage Cocktail: A delightful herbal cocktail prepared with gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, sage leaves, and cold water.
- Pumpkin-Sage Lasagna: A beautifully layered pasta dish with puréed pumpkin, dried sage leaf, heavy cream, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, Parmesan, kosher salt, and black pepper.
In addition, we can also have:
Butternut Squash and Sage Soup: This recipe is achieved by preparing a creamy puréed soup with roasted butternut squash, garlic, olive oil, chicken stock, onions, and sage.
Sage is an evergreen plant that comes from the family of Lamiaceae. There are various species of sage that are indigenous to the Mediterranean region. The herb grows in the form of a bush and prefers a warm climate with dry soil. Sage can be located in habitats that give enough sunlight, such as fields and meadows. Remarkably, many kinds of sage are grown throughout the world. This plant is mostly employed as spice and remedy. Nonetheless, people are also familiar with the healing properties of sage for thousands of years now. Among diverse other disorders, recent medical studies designate that sage can treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Interesting Sage Facts
Sage has a woody stem that can grow up to about two feet in height.
Its leaves are usually 2.5 inches long and 1 inch in width. They are normally oblong in shape and grayish to green in color. The bottom side of the leaves is whitish due to a large number of fine hairs. The upper side of the leaves is creased.
Sage develops white, pink, purple, or (more familiar) lavender-colored flowers. It has both female (pistil) and male (stamens) reproductive organs. Flowers are cross-fertilized by various types of insects (customarily by honeybees).
People use sage as a flavoring agent for at least two thousand years. Sage has a savory and peppery taste. It is often used in making dishes made of beans, cheese, tomatoes, and eggs.
“Salvia” is a Latin name for sage. The Latin name is derived from the word “salvare,” which means “to save.” Thus, the name indicates the healing properties of this plant.
Leaves and flowers contain different compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. This herb facilitates digestion and elimination of the excess water from the body (acts like a diuretic). Tonics made of sage can improve hair growth, and they are often used in the treatment of alopecia.
It can also be used in the fresh or in the form of tea, capsule, tinctures, and mouthwashes.
Sage has, in time past, been used as a meat preservative in ancient Greece and Rome because it possesses antibacterial properties.
Sage is a perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.
So, What Are the Health Benefits of Sage?
With a botanical name originating from the Latin word “salvus,” meaning “healing,” it is no surprise that sage—and sage essential oil—has a great number of health benefits. The herb holds large amounts of vitamin B complex and vitamin K and is also rich in vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, vitamin E, vitamin C, and riboflavin. Sage is also stuffed with antioxidants, presenting it as an efficient antiseptic with the capability to promote the immune system and free the body of harmful free radicals.
Sage can also be used topically to promote the health and appearance of nails, skin, and hair. Sage oil can even be applied to hair or skin in order to cleanse the area and regulate oil production.