Sage arrived on America's shores with the first wave of English settlers, and the pungent herb has been a staple in yankee kitchens ever since.
Things You'll Need
- Drying Screens Or Racks
- Garden Shears
- Gardening Gloves
- Olive (not Virgin) Oil
- Unsalted Butter
- Cookie Sheets
- Ice Cube Trays
- Plastic Containers
- Plastic Storage Bags
- Cookie sheets
Pinch off sage leaves, as needed.
Cut back the flower stems after the plants bloom to encourage more leaf production.
Stop harvesting in early fall so the plants can harden off for the winter.
Store fresh sage leaves in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
Retain maximum flavor by freezing sage. Either freeze entire branches on cookie sheets, then strip the leaves from the stems and put them back into the freezer in plastic containers; or mix finely chopped sage leaves with just enough olive oil or butter to bind them together, and freeze the mixture in ice cube trays.
Dry sage leaves on screens in a dry spot away from direct sun. Store dried sage leaves in an airtight jar.
Tips & Warnings
- Harvest sage on a clear day after the dew has dried on the leaves but before the sun's heat can dissipate the essential oils that give the herb its flavor and aroma.
- Frozen sage tastes much better than the dried form, but it appears limp and unattractive. Use it in stews, casseroles and other dishes when taste matters more than appearance.
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