Today’s post is by author Kristel Wiesner; her goal is to share tips for saving money on healthy food without sacrificing nutrition. Kristel believes improving your diet is a journey, and every step taken to replace processed food with whole food is one step closer to better health.
Brown Butter Sage, A Gourmet Touch
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I’ve watched my sage plant develop into a small bush and considered removing it several times. It takes up sunny real estate, which is usually reserved for more useful plants. The sage’s pretty blooms have been it’s only saving grace. Although I’ve used the leaves occasionally for cooking, how much sage does one really use? It’s not like parsley or basil which I use on a daily basis.
Those were my thoughts until Denise, my neighbor and herb enthusiast, rocked my world with Brown Butter Sage.
Brown Butter Sage is basically sage leaves fried in butter until crisp. Brown Butter Sage reminds me of caramelized onions in that it can take a dish from run-of-the-mill to gourmet.
You can use brown butter sage on pretty much any dish. I’ve used it on eggs, roasted chicken, baked potatoes, squash, pasta, casseroles and salads. I’ve never use it in a dessert, but you know what…I think it could be a lovely compliment to some fruit desserts.
During the growing season I use fresh leaves for making Brown Butter Sage, but you can also use dried or frozen sage leaves. Freezing sage is a simple matter of picking the leaves, shaking off any insects and plopping the leaves into a freezer container. My freezer is full. Sage is easy to dry. So, drying is my preferred preservation method.
The photo shows the no-fuss method I used to dry my sage this year. It took about 2 weeks to dry. Covering it with cheesecloth to keep it dust free crossed my mind, but I never got around to it. Last year I tied the sage in bunches and hung it, with a paper bag surrounding it to keep the dust off. That worked great but it was more work. Learning and Yearning has information on drying herbs without a dehydrator.
MAKING BROWN BUTTER SAGE
1. Melt butter in a fry pan.
2. Add sage leaves and stir them around to coat them with the butter.
3. Cook over medium low heat until they are crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. They will get dark and you may think they are burned. This is normal, but taste one anyway to be sure they are not burning. Adjust the heat if needed.
4. Salt to taste.
MAKING RUBBED SAGE
Recipes often call for rubbed sage. Rubbed sage is made by doing exactly what the name implies, rubbing dried sage between your thumb and forefinger.
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