Sage - The Throat Herb
How to Grow and Use Garden Sage By Amy Jeanroy
Herb Gardens Expert
Cold weather brings out the cook in all of us. What better way to enjoy a cold winter night than with a bowl of steamy homemade soup. The beauty of herbs is that you can start with the most basic soup; broth, veggies and whatever starch you can find, throw in a few beans of bits of meat, and then mix in your perfect blend of herbs.
Both fresh and dried herbs work well in cooking. You do have to add 3 times as much fresh herbs as you do dried. I like to add my herbs as I cook, reserving some to add a second time but right at the end. this preserves that burst of fresh flavor so it isn't cooked away as some of the more delicate herb flavors can be.
Here are some herbs that work very will in warming winter soups.
Best known as an ingredient in poultry stuffing, Sage(or edible sage/garden sage) has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Sage is a strong medicinal herb and should be used with caution.
Latin Name: Salvia Officinalis
Common Name: Sage, Garden sage
USDA Hardiness Zone: Zone 4-8, Perennial
Exposure: Full Sun, moderate watering, does not like having moist soil
Harvest: This clumping herb is grown for its leaves and flowers. Aerial parts are harvested any time they leaves are large enough for your needs.
Uses: Native to the Mediterranean region, its name comes from the Latin Salvare, which translates roughly as "to rescue" or "to heal." Sage is often used as a remedy for respiratory infections, congestion, cough, sore throats, appetite stimulant, indigestion and is said to have a beneficial effect on the liver. It is also given for fever, night sweats and urinary problems. Some women even find that it helps with menopausal symptoms.
Sage is a uterine stimulant, so it should be avoided in therapeutic doses during pregnancy. It is safe to use in cooking however. It may also decrease milk production so nursing mothers be aware of that. Gargling or swishing the tea without swallowing should not lead to this effect.
Sage grows up to three feet in height and gives off a distinct fragrance. It should be planted in rich, well drained soil in a sunny location.The leaves grow 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, are oblong in shape with rounded ends They are gray-green in color and have fine, soft hairs. The leaves grow in pairs on the stems. For an ornamental garden, variegated green, golden or purple varieties are also available. I am giving you some ideas if you grew sage and what to use it in or what you would like to plant next year.
Using sage in the Thanksgiving Dressing:
•1 cup chopped celery
•1/2 cup chopped onion
•1/4 cup margarine or butter
•1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
•1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
•1/4 teaspoon pepper
•6 cups dry bread cubes
•1/2 cup chopped pecans or hazelnuts
•1/2 cup dried cranberries
•1/2 cup chicken broth
•1 to 2 Tablespoons chicken broth (optional)
Cook celery and onion in margarine or butter in a small saucepan until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in sage, thyme, and pepper.
Place dry bread cubes in a mixing bowl. Add celery mixture, pecans, and cranberries. Add the 1/2 cup chicken broth, tossing to moisten.
Use to stuff one 6- to 8-pound turkey. (Transfer any remaining stuffing to a casserole, adding the 1 to 2 tablespoons chicken broth, if desired, for additional moistness; cover and chill casserole until ready to bake.
Bake the casserole, covered, in a 325 degree F oven during the last 30 to 45 minutes of turkey roasting until stuffing is heated through.) If stuffing is baked in the turkey, the internal temperature of the stuffing should reach 165 degrees F.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Make-Ahead Tip: To make 6 cups dry bread cubes for stuffing, cut 9 to 11 slices of bread into 1/2-inch square pieces. Spread in a single layer in a shallow pan at room temperature, loosely covered, for 8 to 12 hours. (Do not stuff turkey until just before roasting.)
Taken from http://herbgardens.about.com/od/herbbasics/tp/Herbs-for-Warming-Winter-Soups
Till next week, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty