Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Sage: Before Sage: After Sage (Salivia officinalis) is one of the herbs that grows year round in my garden - it is situated right under the eaves of the house against the wall and is sheltered there from strong winds and killing frosts. It's great to be able to go out and pick fresh sage for tea or seasoning any time. I like to add it to hearty salads such as this one which has asparagus and white beans, sundried tomatoes, and lentil sprouts. I add lots, because I love it so much. Here's the recipe:it's from


  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 7 dried tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 3 tablespoons or more fresh chopped sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag gourmet mixed salad greens (or your own garden fresh greens!)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese (leave out to make salad vegan)


Snap off tough ends of asparagus; arrange asparagus and dried tomatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 2 to 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Set tomatoes aside. Plunge asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and chill until ready to use. Chop tomatoes.

Whisk together garlic and next 8 ingredients in a medium bowl; add asparagus, tomatoes, beans, onion, and capers, tossing to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour. Serve asparagus mixture over salad greens; sprinkle with cheese.

I also added lentil sprouts and radishes.

Sage tea is excellent when you're getting a sore throat, have indigestion, and/or insomnia - have a sage-bath and a nice cup of sage tea to help you get to sleep. It can be combined with rosemary and peppermint for headaches. The Latin name for sage is Salvia, which means "health." it was an ingredient of "Four Thieves Vinegar, a blend of herbs which was supposed to ward off the plague. Sage can be propagated by cuttings from the end of April to September and older plants like to be rejuvenated by cutting back hard in Spring.

I know an older Italian woman, who sometimes greets me by saying "salve" (pronounced "salvay"). It's an old fashioned blessing for health and well being. May you be blessed with health and well being with your garden full of Sage.

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