SAGE (Salvia officinalis)
Eaten to excess, Sage can be poisonous.
One pound of rubbed sage = 16 cups
1 ounce = 1 cup
One pound of ground sage = 4 cups
1 ounce = 1/4 cup
Sage is a shrubby plant with long oval-shaped velvety leaves in colors ranging from a pale gray-green to dark purple-green. Blue, purple or white flower spikes appear in mid to late summer. The taste is sharp and spicy-bitter with a scent that combines thyme, lemon, pine and moss.
In America, sage is the main flavoring for breakfast sausage and traditional turkey stuffing. In England, sage is most associated with pork, goose and duck. Italians use sage to flavor polenta and pasta. Try gently heating a few sage leaves in butter for a tasty pasta sauce. Fresh sage is used whole and minced in cooking. Because it has such a strong flavor, only one sage leaf is necessary for most dishes. Sage is also good with apples, celery, dried beans, cheese, onions and tomatoes.
Use sage sparingly as too much will create an unpleasant musty taste. Unlike most other herbs, the flavor of the sage leaves intensifies as they dry.
Naturalists believe sage aids digestion and due to its antioxidant properties, acts as a preservative.
Bay leaves, cloves and sage all act as natural insect repellents for ants and other crawling insects.
Fresh sage will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator when dry leaves are loosely packed in plastic.