Sage has long been prized for both its culinary and medicinal uses. It is one of the most popular herbs used in Provence, where an old proverb proclaims, "He who has sage in his garden needs no doctor."

This highly aromatic herb, Salvia officinalis, is characterized by narrow, oval leaves that are silvery-gray in color. It has a slightly bitter, piney-mint taste and is commonly used to flavor sausage, stuffing, poultry and fish. Native to the Mediterranean, sage is a common ingredient in Greek, Italian and European cuisines.

Varieties and Buying Tips

Small bunches of fresh sage are available year-round at most supermarkets. Some stores may also carry a special variety called pineapple sage, which has an intensely sweet pineapple scent. When buying, choose fresh bunches with vibrant green-gray leaves. They should be free of dark spots or yellowing.

Sage is also available dried in whole, rubbed (crumbled) or ground forms.

Storage Tips

Fresh: Wrap in a paper towel, seal in a plastic bag and keep refrigerated up to four days.

Dried: Store in an airtight container away from light and heat for up to six months.

Usage Tips

• Rub over roasted poultry.

• Mix into stuffings for poultry, beef, pork and fish.

• Add a dash to soups or chowders.

• Stir into cheese spreads.

• Use as a seasoning for tomato sauce.

• Sprinkle on pizza, omelets and frittatas.

Substitution Tips

When sage is not available, poultry seasoning, savory, marjoram or rosemary may be used as substitutes.

Try one of our favorite sage recipes:
Saltimbocca Chicken Breasts with Sage Sauce and Creamy Arugula Pasta
Stuffed Pork Chops with Sausage and Apricots
Chicken Pot Pie

Pairing Suggestions

beans, cheese, chicken, corn, duck, eggplant, goose, lamb, meatloaf, pork, rabbit, rice, sausage, squash, stuffing, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turkey, venison

Related Recipes

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by BigOven editorial team
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