One really would think that I would have done this eons ago (considering the size of my herb garden) but this is my first time participating in Weekend Herb Blogging. This is the 52 Week Anniversary Special to determine the Very Favorite Herb.
I don't have one. I do have lots of favorites, but they change with the seasons. Today I choose Sage, for two reasons: we love it; and it probably won't be chosen by
any many other bloggers. It's been used in cooking and for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years (recorded) but it's strong, pungent taste doesn't appeal to everyone. My mother would carefully measure 1 tsp of old, dried out, 'rubbed sage' into her 'Turkey Stuffing for 20' and worry that she had used too much. I would put 25 or 30 chopped large, fresh leaves in - and worry that I hadn't used enough.
We don't eat it during the summer when basil, fresh oregano and lemon thyme rule, but when the weather cools and the cooking moves back indoors we start gorging ourselves on sage. Mon mari's favorite is pasta tossed with sautéed garlic, sage leaves, olive oil and Parmesan. When I make Gratin Potatoes I put a layer of fresh, sage leaves in the center and top it with a strong Gruyere and a bit of chicken stock. The flavors blend wonderfully!
But, my absolute favorite dish with sage is my version of....
Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana for Two
6 - 8 thin (or pounded) veal scallops, 12 oz (350 gr)total weight
3 - 4 slices Prosciutto, sliced in half
12 - 16 slices Gruyere (my Gruyere is always a long, skinny piece)
12 - 16 large, fresh sage leaves
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup Marsala
1/2 cup beef stock
1 cup chopped fresh or canned Roma tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Quickly brown veal scallops on both sides. Remove and put on an oven-safe platter. Add Marsala, beef stock and tomatoes to skillet and let simmer while you assemble the Saltimbocca. Place 2 sage leaves, a slice of ham to cover the veal and 2 slices of cheese, trimmed to fit, on each veal scallop.
After sauce has simmered and reduced a bit add the tomato paste to thicken it. Spoon a bit of the sauce on and around the veal. Put the saltimbocca into a 250F (125C) while you have your starter, finish dinner prep., whatever, but around 10 - 15 minutes. This allows the cheese to melt, the ham and sage to cook a bit and the flavors to blend. Remove and serve with remaining sauce on the side. I normally serve this with some fresh Angel Hair Pasta.
Sorry, no photos of the plated dinner....I simply couldn't wait any longer to get my fork in....
Happy 1 Year Anniversary Weekend Herb Bloggers!
And thanks Kalyn for starting it!
Give Sage a chance!