Sunday, March 26, 2006

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.


At 8:26 PM, Blogger Lazy cow said...

Which chocolate shop did you check out? (Because I am nosey and I have run out of good chocolate in the house).

At 10:26 PM, Blogger plum said...

Welcome Lazy Cow! This might not be particularly near to you - as it's called Osabah, and at 50 High Street, Kyneton. It's a lovely store (also heaps of homewares and jewellery) but the chocolate can't compare to Koko Black. I wrote about a delightful box of their chocolates here

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Lazy cow said...

I'm desperate to get to Koko Black. Maybe now the Commomwealth Games madness is over I can nick into the city one day...
Kyneton isn't far from Woodend is it? I'm going to Daylesford this weekend so might make a detour.
Am enjoying your blog.

At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Chris said...


I've just become somewhat obsessed with sage and have been making pasta with sage butter.

Lots of sage, slowly heat it in melted butter, dump it over the pasta, add some cracked pepper, salt and a mound of freshly grated parmesan.

I’ll get over it soon I’m sure.

At 12:45 AM, Blogger Kalyn said...

I really love sage. That's the one plant in my herb garden that is starting to green up a bit, but nowhere near as lovely looking as your plant.


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