Inside the Spice Cabinet: Sage
Sage isn’t a seasoning that you find in too many preparations. Its strong, distinct flavor easily dominates a dish and relegates it to the “occasional use” category.
What Is Sage?
Taste: Sweet, bitter
Most Popular Use: Poultry, stuffing (dressing), vegetables
Sage is a member of the mint family, and it definitely shares a sharp aromatic potency with its mint cousins. Its greenish-gray, spear-shaped leaves are soft and woolly, with a pebbled texture. This herb, native to the Mediterranean, is sweet and somewhat bitter, with a pine-like flavor and aroma. It’s also often described as having eucalyptus and citrus notes.
Sage can be found and used fresh or dried and ground, though as with most herbs, the fresh leaves offer considerably more flavor.
How To Use Sage
Sage pairs very well with chicken and other poultry, as well as pork and sausage. Sage and winter squash are also a frequent combination, one of the few pairings of sage with a sweet ingredient. You’ll also find sage in a lot of northern Italian cooking – think of bean dishes, potato dishes, stuffed meats, savory breads, and pasta dishes.