Wise Old Sage

Why should a man die whilst sage grows in his garden?

Sage Pecan Cheese Wafers

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter in small pieces

Process first six ingredients in a food processor for 10 seconds. Add butter a piece at a time while processor is running until mixture forms a ball. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface; cut with 1 inch round cookie cutter. Bake at 350 degrees on ungreased cookie sheet 12-14 minutes until golden. Makes 3 dozen.

Sage and Walnut Pesto

3 to 4 cups fresh sage leaves

3 to 4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

4 cups olive oil

Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Process into a coarse paste and slowly add olive oil to obtain a loose mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

Hazelnut and Sage Pate

1 cup hazelnuts

1/4 cup sesame seeds

8 ounces cream cheese

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon chopped sage

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the hazelnuts and sesame seeds on a baking tray and lightly roast for 10 minutes. Remove skins when cool. Chop the roasted seeds and nuts to desired coarseness. Beat the cream cheese, garlic, sage, oil and salt and pepper together. Add both mixtures together, mixing well. Add the milk. Serve chilled in ramekins or on small individual salads with toast.

Sage Cheese

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon white wine

2 teaspoons minced fresh sage

1 teaspoon minced fresh savory

1 teaspoon tamari

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Stir all ingredients together vigorously until thoroughly blended. Place in serving bowl and smooth the top. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs or chopped chives.

Oregano Sage Cheddar Bread

1 package yeast

5 1/4 cups all„purpose flour

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 3/4 cups milk

3 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper.

Stir together the yeast and 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Heat together the remaining ingredients except the rest of the flour until warm and then add to the yeast and flour mixture. Beat on low speed for 45 seconds and then at high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. On a lightly floured surface knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Knead another 10 minutes or so until the dough is elastic and smooth. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease all sides. Cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and divide in half. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Shape into two loaves and place each in a buttered loaf pan. Cover and let rise again until doubled in size. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Corn and Fresh Sage

2 ears corn

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cups water

2 cups milk

1 cup cornmeal salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Grill corn in the husks or roast in the oven; cut kernels from cob.

In a heavy 4 quart saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onions; reduce heat to low and cook until onions are translucent. Stir in water and milk and bring to a boil over medium„high heat. Slowly stir in cornmeal, whisking thoroughly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning. Season with salt and pepper; simmer 15 minutes more. When cornmeal is tender, stir in corn, sage and Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a large bowl to serve. Makes 4 servings.

Fettuccine with Sage butter and Peas

6 quarts water

1 tablespoons salt

1 cups fresh shelled garden peas

8 ounces frozen peas

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup small fresh sage leaves, or large sage leaves cut into strips

3 ounces ham, cut into thin strips (about 3/4 cup)

1 pound fresh fettuccine, or 12 ounces dried

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh ground black pepper

Fill a large (8 quart) pot with the water, add the salt, and bring it to a boil. Place the peas in a steamer basket and drop it in the water. Boil until the peas are bright green and crisp/tender, about 1 minute. Remove the basket to drain the peas and set them aside. If using frozen peas, cook just until warmed. Leave the water boiling for the pasta.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium/low heat. Add the sage leaves and cook, stirring often until the butter begins to brown slightly and the sage has a toasty aroma, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ham and cook for about 1 minute. Add the peas and cook briefly to reheat.

While preparing the sauce, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender but still firm, 1 to 3 minutes for fresh pasta or 7 minutes for dried. Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet. Sprinkle with the cheese and a generous grinding of black pepper and toss with tongs or two wooden spoons. Makes 4 servings.

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onions and Sage

1 pound butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces, 1/4 inch thick

1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon slivered fresh sage

1 teaspoons olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces dried pasta, such as bowties or wheels

1 cup diced ripe tomatoes 3 tablespoons chopped green olives

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 450 F. On a baking sheet with sides, toss squash, onions, sage, oil, salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once, until beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water (8 to 10 minutes). Drain and return to the pot. Add roasted vegetables, tomatoes and olives; toss to combine. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Makes 2 large servings.

Potato Pancake Wedges with Zucchini and Sage

1 pound onions 10 ounces zucchini, trimmed

3 1/4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled

8 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped 2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons margarine

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450F. Coarsely grate onions, zucchini and then potatoes with mediums shredding blade. Divide grated vegetable mixture between 2 kitchen towels, wrap tightly and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place vegetables in large bowl. Add sage and salt and toss to blend well.

Heat half of oil with half of margarine in each of 2 large nonstick ovenproof skillets over medium„high heat. Add half of vegetable mixture to each skillet. Using spatula, press mixtures firmly to even thickness. Cook 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook until bottom is golden brown, sliding spatula under pancakes occasionally to prevent sticking, about 6 minutes longer.

Place skillets in oven. Bake pancakes until to is firm, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. If desired, preheat broiler and broil pancakes until top is golden. Turn each out onto baking sheet. Cut into wedges and serve.

"Sage will retard the rapid progress of decay that treads upon our heels so fast in the latter years of life...and prevent absolutely that sad depression of spirits, which age often feels and always fears." --Sir John Hill

Sage Roasted Potatoes

3 tablespoons minced sage leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes unpeeled, cut into about 8 wedges

1 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste

teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons water à

Preheat oven to 450F.

In large bowl, stir together sage leaves and oil, potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper until coated. Pour water into a shallow pan or baking sheet and top with potato pieces, spreading them out evenly. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. Roast potatoes for 15 minutes. Remove foil; roast potatoes 15 minutes more. With a spatula, turn potatoes and roast 10 to 15 minutes more, until cooked through and crisp. Serve hot. Sprinkling with sage leaves and more salt as desired. Makes 4 servings.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds potatoes (about 6 medium)

4 cloves garlic, peeled 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup white pepper

1 cup buttermilk or light sour cream

Peel potatoes and cut in half. Place in a large saucepan along with whole garlic cloves. Cover potatoes with water. Place saucepan over medium/high heat and boil gently, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.

Mash potatoes and garlic cloves together using a potato masher. Return potatoes to saucepan. Stir in remaining ingredients, cover saucepan and return to medium/low heat.

Continue heat potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are hot. Taste and adjust seasonings. Makes 6 servings.

Creamed Onions and Sage

24 small onions

10 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons dried sage

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 pinches paprika

Peel onions and trim slightly at the top and bottom. Boil the onions gently in salted water until tender.

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter one shallow baking dish. Saute the sliced mushrooms in the butter. Stir in the flour. Stir in the milk, salt, sage, half of the lemon zest and all of the lemon juice. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sauce thickens.

Place the cooked onions in the prepared baking dish and pour the mushroom sauce over them.

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the chopped parsley, remaining lemon peel and paprika to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Pineapple Sage Chicken

1/4 cup teriyaki or soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 cup chopped pineapple sage leaves

4 boneless chicken breasts

Mix all ingredients except chicken. Marinate chicken in mixture overnight in refrigerator. Grill. Serve with pineapple kabobs.

Grilled Orange-Sage Pork Chops

2/3 cup olive oil

1 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons dried sage

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 pork chops, 1 inch thick

In a glass dish or re-sealable plastic bag, mix olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, garlic, salt and pepper.

Trim fat off chops. Add the chops to the marinade and cover. Place in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Heat grill. Remove chops from marinade and place on grill. Cover grill and cook chops for 5 minutes. Turn and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Cut the center to determine doneness. Makes 4 servings.

Sage Roasted Pork Tenderloin

2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans, drained

1 (13 ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered

1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons dried sage leaves, divided

2 pounds whole pork tenderloins

2 cloves garlic, cut into slivers

ground black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine beans, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, lemon rind, and 1 teaspoon sage; place in 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Cut slits in tenderloins with sharp paring knife and insert slivers of garlic; sprinkle pork lightly with pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon sage. Place on top of bean mixture; drizzle with oil.

Roast at 425F until pork is done and juices run clear, 35 to 40 minutes. Spoon bean mixture onto rimmed serving platter; slice pork and arrange on beans. Makes 8 servings.

Chicken-Rice Casserole

1 cup uncooked rice

2 teaspoons dry sage

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 can onion soup 1 can water

2 tablespoons minced dried onion

4 chicken breasts, cut in strips

Place all ingredients in oven-proof casserole. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for

one hour. Uncover and bake 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Makes 4 servings.


---Add fresh dill and sage to cottage cheese. Layer sage leaves or chopped sage in a grilled cheese sandwich. Add parsley and sage to dumplings. Dress a grapefruit and avocado salad with honey, lavender and sage. Add dried sage to biscuits. Use a touch of sage in lentil soup. Place pineapple sage leaves in the bottom of a pan prepared for pineapple upside down cake! Make the cake as usual. The leaves will make a lovely pattern when the cake is inverted to serve. ---

Sage Tea

Pour 1 cup

boiling water over 6 fresh sage leaves.

Let steep for five minutes. Serve with lime juice and honey.

Stuffed Tomatoes

2 cups dry cornbread stuffing mix

4 tablespoons finely chopped celery

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves

4 to 6 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup boiling water

6 medium sized tomatoes 12 whole sage leaves à

Cut off top inch of tomatoes. Scoop out centers, leaving at least 1/4 inch skin and pulp. Save centers for soups or stews. Mix other ingredients together. Spoon mix into tomatoes, rounding the tops. Place two whole sage leaves on top of each tomato. Bake at 375F, 30 to 35 minutes, until tops are brown and sage leaves crisp. Makes 6 servings.

Sage Leaf Fritters

20-30 fresh sage leaves

Oil for deep frying

3/4 cup flour pinch of salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons warm water

1 large egg white

Carefully rinse and dry sage leaves. Mix batter, except egg, let stand hour. Whisk egg white until stiff; fold into batter. Dip leaves in batter, fry 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Drain.

Pineapple Sage Pound Cake

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

5 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped pineapple sage leaves

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pineapple sage flowers (optional)

1 teaspoon gated lemon peel

4 tablespoons well-squeezed, chopped pineapple

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups flour

Cream the butter and the sugar until very fluffy and light. Beat in the honey. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat for one minute after each addition. Beat in the sage leaves, flowers and the lemon peel. Stir the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture. Fold these together gently, until just blended. Pour into four miniature loaf pans (6 X 3/14 x 2 inches). Bake in a preheated 325F oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.) Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, then turn out of pans and continue to cool. Makes 4 small loaves.