In the latest of my blogs on the delights of fresh herbs I take a look at Sage.


Sage is one of those herbs which is well known, you think you can imagine the flavour, however, until you have had fresh pasta tossed in sage butter, you have not known the true wonderful flavour.

The ancient Greeks use Sage to heal ulcers, consumption and snake bites. The Romans considered it sacred and had a special knife not made of iron because sage reacts turn it black. Medicinally it is a first rate remedy as a hot infusion for colds. As a gargle for tonsillitis, and great for making your teeth white.   It is also a digestive, antispasmodic and carminative, and eases flatulence. In the kitchen fresh sage comes into its own it is great with meat, tomatoes, and with baked apple.

Crispy Sage, Apple and Walnut Salad

( Recipe from Jekka’s Herb Cook Booked published by Ebury)

This is an old family recipe, the origin of which I am unsure. What I am certain about is the combination of sage, apple, nut and lettuce has everything a salad should have.

Serves 2

  • 5 Sage leaves for cooking, torn not chopped into small pieces.
  • 1 Cox’s crisp apples, cored not pealed, and sliced into small pieces. .
  • 100gm (4 oz) walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil or olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 sage leaf, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • A good mix of lettuce leaves.

In a non stick small frying pan, over low heat, toast the coarsely chopped walnuts, shaking the pan often. After the first 5 minutes, add the torn sage and sliced apple, keep shaking the pan gently so that nothing sticks until the nuts and sage become gently cooked.   Tip out into a bowl and set aside.

In large bowl whisk walnut or olive oil, vinegar, finely chopped sage leaf, salt and pepper, to taste , once amalgamated add the minced shallot, mix well. Tear the lettuce leaves into bite size pieces and add them to the bowl. Using a spoon gently toss to coat lettuce well with dressing. Arrange salad on a plate and sprinkle with toasted sage and walnuts.

For more herbilicious ideas with Sage visit our Recipes with Sage.

Sage as a breath freshener