Sage leaves, Salvia officinalis: origin and properties
The sage shrub is a Mediterranean herb and has its origin in the Mediterranean. The ancient Romans, as well as the ancient Greeks, used for its healing properties. In several finds of folk medicine, they also write about him, especially about his healing qualities and his gastronomic uses from the time.
Salvia Plant genus - Lamiaceae
The Salvia family belongs to the Lamiaceae genus. It is an extensive plant family with around 250 different genera and 7000 species, scattered in all corners of the planet. Sage, like all Lamiaceae, has a strong presence of flavoring essential oils, thus used as a seasoning, in perfumery as an extract, in liqueur as an aroma and the pharmacy as a counter product.
The plant has a height of over one meter, but the average plant height is around 50 cm. Furthermore, it is annual, but in some cases, also perennial and shrubby. The leaves of the sage have a very intense aroma, with a distinctive spicy note and are used both fresh and dried. The dried leaves keep the flavors well and for a long time.
Salvia officinalis & other names
Salvia Officinalis is the best known and most widely used sage variety in the kitchen and food industries. It also bears the following names: king sage, virtue sage, tooth leaves, Zaffer leaves, and Greek tea.
Qualities and appearance of Sage
The shape of the leaves gives the different qualities of their name. Salvia Latifolia is the most common, and it has long and broad leaves. Salvia lavandulifolia usually has the narrowest leaves and the most intense aroma. The Salvia Crispa has wavy leaves.
Culinary use royal sage
Royal sage is a typical aroma of Italian cuisine and belongs to the Mediterranean diet. In natural vegan cooking, i.e., using aromatic plants, it should, therefore, be dosed sparingly; it contains the substance Tujones and camphor, which are neurotoxic in high doses. It is best used in the kitchen to flavor meat dishes. Not everyone knows that the herb also has a preservative effect.
It is prevalent in the kitchen because of its special and unique aroma. Together with basil, oregano, and rosemary, you may use it in many meat and vegetable recipes.
In general, sage flavors pasta and legumes. The ideal culinary "death" of this aromatic herb is with the meat of sevaggina, but also try it to flavor milk products. Today, in many recipes, we find it mixed with butter and used in the preparation of fresh filled pasta.
Sage is the spice (aroma) for Saltimbocca alla Romana and refines steamed, fried fish, minced meat, or roast pork.
What herbs and spices go well with Sage?
Sage is a versatile herb that pairs well with various other herbs and spices. Here are some popular combinations, alongside Salt, Pepper, and Chili:
- Rosemary: Sage and Rosemary are classic partners, especially when preparing dishes with lamb, pork, and poultry.
- Thyme: These two herbs complement each other well and are often used together in Mediterranean recipes. They pair particularly well with poultry, pork, and potatoes.
- Marjoram: Sage and Marjoram form an unbeatable team in many Mediterranean dishes. Together, they add wonderful flavor to meat dishes.
- Basil: Although Basil is usually associated with Italian cuisine, it also pairs well with Sage. This combination works well for pasta, pesto, and tomato dishes.
- Oregano: Sage and Oregano are both members of the Lamiaceae family and complement each other excellently. This blend is often used in Italian cuisine.
- Garlic: Garlic and Sage can create a very aromatic blend that pairs well with many savory dishes.
- Onions: Sage and onions complement each other well, especially in soups, stews, and roasted dishes.
- Ginger: This unusual combination can be surprisingly good and works well in dishes with Asian influence.
- Lemon: The citrusy taste pairs well with Sage and adds a fresh note to dishes. This combination is especially popular with fish dishes.
It's important to note that the best combination of herbs and spices also depends on the specific ingredients and personal taste. So, feel free to experiment to find the combinations you like best!
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