I grow a lot of sage (salvia officinalis and species) but I don’t really use it a lot in cooking. That may seem a little strange, but for me, sage is a beautiful, ornamental plant (it helps that I grow the variegated and purple leafed varieties). This is the golden sage topiary that was in that herbal planter that I showed in the post on thyme a few weeks back.
The other reason that I like sage so much is that it blooms with a lovely blue bloom–and anyone who has grown the perennial salvia knows the lovely color and long bloom time of sage. Not only is this useful in the garden, but it’s great for attracting bees. And why do we need bees in the garden? To pollinate our vegetables, of course. And since many of my herbs are in with my vegetables, it’s very helpful to have sage as a plant to draw the bees to the garden.
Sage, being in the mint family, will want full sun. It is better behaved than mint but a good sized plant can get a bit out of control in the garden after a few years. Luckily, a good pruning keeps it in bounds–it’s not like mint where you have to plant it in a pot to keep it from getting out of control and running amok!
When I do use sage to cook, I use it for the very traditional bread stuffing around Thanksgiving. I have used it chopped finely and sauteed in a little butter with some cauliflower and I served that with some cheese ravioli. Other than that, I’m not much of one for cooking with it.
But again, when a plant is so pretty and does such a wonderful job of bringing bees to the garden, what more do I need it to do? The fact that I can cook with it is almost an unexpected bonus!