SAGE( SAUGE) IS AN IDEAL PLANT TO GROW IN THE CHARENTE CLIMATE.
One of the easiest plants to grow and care for and it will reward you with...
LEAVES to use in cooking all summer long and right up to the first frosts
FILLING LARGE GAPS in spaces in the garden where little else will grow. You can leave this for a lovely display of purple flowers rather than for harvesting leaves.
ATTRACTS POLLINATORS ...so ideal when planted beside strawberries, fruit bushes and trees
Perfect also in well draining pots.
It easier just to buy a plant than grow it from seed unless you intend to have a large harvest.
Ideal to plant beside similar herbs/plants requiring little water...like rosemary and tarragon.
Avoid fertilising too much..this will make the plant bigger but will reduce the potency of the taste.
If you are using leaves on a regular basis then you will naturally be cutting it back. However at the end of the growing season you need to cut the plant back to half it size into a nice rounded shape.
It can very quickly get out of control....and will lose its flavour in the process.
Main plants will begin to lose strength of flavour after about 4 years.
Take a 3inch cutting from the tip of the stem and put it in a pot of Sterilised soil or vermiculite.
It should begin to root in about 6 weeks
Transfer into a another small pot of potting compost.
Once the root ball has formed it can be planted straight into the ground or into pots.
- Hang in bunches in the kitchen..out of direct sunlight till dried. Once dried keep in airtight jars
- Sage vinegar....add sprigs to jars of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar to use as a marinade or dressing. Takes about 2 weeks
- Sage Oil...same as above but use olive oil
- Ice cubes....put about a tablespoon of chopped leaves into each ice cube square then top with water, Freeze. Use as needed adding directly to soups and stews or defrosting and draining to use fresh.
- Sage Butter. Mix chopped leaves into the butter and use a spread on warmed baguette. A nice change from garlic bread
- Infuse dried leaves with honey to make a tisane/tea
What springs to mind when you think of sage...
SAGE AND ONION STUFFING
SO.....who doesn't remember growing having sage and onion stuffing with your Sunday roast chicken.
We didn't grow sage when I was young and the only sage and onion stuffing I knew then came out of a Paxo box!!!
There is no comparison to the real stuff.
CHICKEN AND SAGE
Layer sage leaves on the top of chicken breasts or thighs then wrap the breasts in parma ham.
Place chicken in a lidded oven dish or wrap in foil.. Pour over white wine to cover. Bake on a medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes...depending on the size of the chicken breast.
If you wish to brown off the meat you can take the lid off for the last 5 minutes.
If you follow my website you will know I have several recipes for pesto...nettle being a favourite...so here is another one to add to the repertoire.
3 garlic chopped
half a cup of walnuts or pine nuts
one cup of fresh sage leaves
one cup of parsley
quarter cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
just whizz it all together and serve with pork or chicken.
Just a few of the simple recipes I use.