Last updated on December 2nd, 2011
PICK A QUANTITY OF FRESH SAGE LEAVES, fry them briefly in oil, and what do you get? An appetizer that belongs at your next cocktail party. Fried sage leaves are light, crisp, and smokey-savory. They are also shamefully easy to make. Here’s the recipe, which takes seconds — not minutes — to prepare:
Savory Fried Sage Leaves
Large, whole sage leaves, long stems attached (plan on 5-10 leaves per person)
Freshly-ground pepper (optional)
In a heavy skillet, heat one inch of oil to just below the smoking point. Place a single layer of leaves into the hot oil, and fry until crisp, usually 30 seconds or less. Properly fried, the leaves will turn hunter-green, not brown. Remove leaves from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula, and set them on a double layer of paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and, if you wish, freshly-ground pepper. Serve at once.
Fried sage leaves are not at all pungent, just pleasantly savory. You might enjoy them, as I recently did, along with brie, smoked Gruyere, and a 2006 Chilean merlot.
I hope you will take my sage advice, and try these no-cal appetizers. As always, you can post your cheers or jeers in the comments section below.
(The above originally appeared at A Garden for the House on July 10, 2009.)
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