Usually by late October there has been a snowstorm to wipe out all of the herbs in my garden. As our climate changes, even in early fall, I now not only have tender flowers surviving but I am still harvesting an overabundance of things like sage, fennel, horehound, oregano and calendula. Sage has a powerful flavor that works well in some savory dishes. A few desserts like that pear sweat bread that I made last year. In other words it is easy to run out of things to do with it. This a a great recipe for using up this herb late in the herbal year. You will need to have some very large fat leaves to start with.
Fried Sage Leaves
Harvest a couple dozen very large sage leaves. Leave the long stems attached. Make sure that they are clean and dry.
In a medium measuring bowl measure out 1 cup of flour. A gluten free four mixture will also work well. Maybe a combo of brown rice with garbanzo or urad dal finely ground.
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
Mix well and set aside
In a small bowl whisk together two egg yolks with 1 TBSP of olive oil.
Mix this liquid in with your flour mixture. Add in 1/2 cup of warm beer and continue to mix until it resembles pancake batter.
In another bowl whip the two egg whites into soft peaks.
Fold the whites into the batter. Thin to the consistency of crepe batter with a very small amount of cold water.
In a large cast iron skillet or wok, heat up 6 TBSP of coconut oil on medium heat.
Use tongs to grab a sage leaf by the stem. Quickly dip it into the batter, lightly coating it on both sides. Drop it into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, using the tongs to turn when done. Remove with tongs, shake off excess oil and drain on paper towels. You can probably fry 2-4 leaves at one time. You can add more oil as needed and remove any bits with a slotted spoon so that they do not burn.
Serve immediately while still warm with a bit of ketchup mixed with store bought mango chutney. Mayonnaise is also an optional condiment.
Sage is a shrubby perennial that is native to Europe. It grows well and overwinters even in my climate. In any garden that I have had it establishes itself as a “mother plant”. The stems are square, woody, long, finely haired and often leggy. With time and age my plants become less attractive but more productive in leaves. This herb can be sensitive. If you offend it, neglect it, damage it when harvesting-you may not see it the following year. The downy, oval shaped, crenated, opposite arranged leaves have a “sage” green color. The flowers are purple (sometimes white) tube shaped, two lipped, and grow widely spaced on terminal racemes. High in aromatic essential oils and botanical features clearly place it in the mint family.
Salvia is thought to be good for stress, depression, vertigo, hot flashes, digestive issues, gas, diarrhea, headaches, flu, congestion, menstrual problems, arthritis pain, blood clots, fever, and staph infections. She is a wonderful gargle for laryngitis, gum disease, bad breath, and sore throats. If you need to clear phlegm in any organ this plant is a good choice. As a bath Sage has been used externally to address eczema, insect bites, wounds, acne, rashes, and poison ivy/oak, dandruff, and vaginal discharge. There is a long history of using this plant as a symbol of wisdom, clarity, longevity, purification and protection. I like hanging bundles of the fresh herb in my house, washing the floors with the tea, or burning dried leaves to clean out energy from a space.
Parts used: Leaves
Energetics:bitter, dry, pungent, warming
Spiritual/Emotional Uses-to remove negative energy, disturbances and bad luck. Helpful when one is struggling with the natural process of aging.
Contraindications:Large does in pregnancy. Do not use while nursing as it may dry up your milk supply. Do not use in therapeutic doses long term.