Sage (Satureja hortensis)
Sage leaves are a distinctive long narrow shape and almost furry to touch, and has a very strong fragrant flavour which means you don't need to use a lot for a lot of flavour. It goes well with some meats, in particular pork, beef and chicken. And is probably best known for its part in a traditional stuffing.
Sage, over the decades, has been used for medicinal and spiritual purposes.
Antioxidants- This herb is packed with antioxidant properties, this boosts the body's defences which fight potentially harmful free radicals, that are linked to chronic conditions. There are effective health benefits linked to this herb due to phenolic acids contained. These can lower the risk of cancer and according to studies improves brain function and memory.
Antiseptic- There are good natural antiseptic properties contained which can be effective against skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis. By applying regularly extracts and balms from this herb onto affected areas can help soothe and gradually reduce their appearance.
Vitamins- A, C, E, K, Folates, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thiamin.
Minerals- Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Potassium.
It can be used fresh or you can buy it online dried. This is a great way to buy it, as it normally comes in a jar or bottle, which can be kept on the spice rack at home. This dried herb has a storage life of about 1 year, it then starts to lose its strong flavour.
This herb is an important ingredient in the making of sausages and meatballs. Its strong fragrant flavour gives them the taste most of us recognise and love.
Sage is also popular in British and Italian cooking and can be used in many ways. Typically it can be used in pasta sauces and stuffings. Sage is also great with meat and poultry and also delicious when used in pumpkin dishes.
For me, I like nothing better than a nice pork chop from the butchers shop rubbed with dried sage, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then fried in butter and served with some steamed new potatoes and fresh vegetables.
Here is a very simple recipe for this pork chop with sage. It really does make a surprisingly, delicious difference.
Serves 4 people
4 x nice fresh butchers pork chops with the bone in
4 x tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 x tablespoons of dried sage
1/2 x teaspoon sea salt
2 x teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 x pork stock cubes
3 x cup of hot water
Get a mixing bowl and add the dried sage, salt and the pepper. Mix together. Once done place one chop into the bowl and give it a good rub with the mixture. Remove from the bowl and repeat with the other 3 chops.
Now get a large frying pan and add the butter. Once hot add the chops and cook for about 5 minutes each side or until they start going brown in colour.
Put 2 stock cubes into a jug and add about 1 cup of hot water. Stir until dissolved.
Now add this to the pork chops, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.
Serve with your vegetables using some gravy over the chops.