Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sage Pesto

Sage is one of those things that seems to used once a year in stuffing, maybe with some butter on Ravioli and that's about it. And the ravioli butter dish always sounds better then it actually is, I never feel in the few times I've eaten it that it had much sage flavor.

Last week I was confronted with a huge bundle of sage as part of my CSA. Initially I thought:

Maybe I just want take it?

What am I going to do with all that sage?
I'm not making stuffing.


Reluctantly I took my sage placing it at the bottom of my canvas Delta airlines bag some body handed me on the street as part of some promotion.

When I got home I was confronted by it again as I unpacked.

There's so much of it!

That evening I was making an Indian Stew with seasonal veggies, potatoes, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts. One of the things I love about Indian food is all the condiments to go with any one dish, the yogurt, chutneys, breads etc. So I figured why not try sage pesto? It made sense with all the autumnal veggies, but I wasn't sure how it would work with the Indian flavors.

Not only did it work great in the Indian stew it is tasty just by itself on pasta or as a swirl in some late season roasted tomato soup.

My recipe is hardly exact so feel free to modify as you see fit:

Sage Pesto

In a food processor place: 1 cup of sage leaves, washed, stems removed, 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, washed. stems removed, 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped, 1/2 cup of almonds (raw or roasted - the later will give the pesto a mellower flavor) and about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of olive oil.

Pulse until the mixture becomes a paste, adding more oil if it is too thick. I wanted it a bit thinner but thick could work just as well, it would make a nice tapenade on crunchy sliced toast (I'd add some pecorino if I was going to do this).

Add sea salt and ground black pepper to taste and a squirt of lemon juice if your so inclined.

Sage in the North East is winter hardy, so it is a perfect substitute for flown in out of season basil. Even after a snow storm you can go to you community garden and clear off the snow ans grab enough sage leaves to make some pesto. Or you can just take the huge amount you got from the CSA and freeze it!

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