WHB: Suddenly Sage
I've always had sage growing in the gardens I've lived in but it was generally left unplucked. Despite its genus name Salvia meaning "health" I found an overdose of of sage more revolting than restorative. Truthfully, it turned my stomach. But I've been wooed back by an abundance in the herb spot and this week found myself cooking with it not once, but twice.
The first was in the classic Italian porchetta. A mix of rosemary, thyme and sage, chopped and sprinkled over pork belly with garlic, then rolled and roasted. This was part of Figman's Week of Pork and will, if I get my act into gear, be tomorrow's post. But today is Sunday, and the traditional roast sprang to mind, despite the 32C heat outdoors.
Flicking through Feast, I'd come across a Nigella Lawson recipe for One Pan Sage-and-Onion Chicken and Sausage featuring a jointed chicken and sausages, roasted in the flavours of sage and onion stuffing, minus the bread. She suggests a lengthy marinade for this, but I didn't have the time and it didn't seem to suffer too much as a result. And it was easiness itself to prepare.
Simply toss the chicken pieces into a large roasting pan with the sausages and generously sliced onion. I then mixed 2 tablesoons of mustard with 100ml of oil and added balsamic vinegar as I was missing the stipulated lemon and Worcestershire sauce. (Note to self: I just cannot get it into my head that I have to buy lemons now!). Finely sliced sage and a few sprigs of thyme finished this off and it was into the oven within 10 minutes of starting. I then left it to its own devices for an hour and a bit. It does give me such a delightfully smug feeling to wander around the house in the knowledge that lunch is cooking away and I don't have to do anything more to it!
The flavours are quite strong and I recommend a vibrant green salad to balance this. Nigella pairs it with a Bread Sauce Potato Gratin, but to me , that is simply too much stodge. It brings to mind the traditional groaning from the table and the subsequent Sunday afternoon lie-down. Whereas I was able to spring up and go and check out a chocolate shop. Which I think is much better.
Tune in tomorrow for Pork And Other Acts of Love! And check out the other contributions at Weekend Herb Blogging over at Kalyn's Kitchen.