Harvesting and Drying Sage

We had a lot of sage in our garden plot this year. Despite regular use all season, we had quite a bit left before the first frost. We decided to dry it and grind it up for the herb rack, which we’d never done before.

Here is one of the many sprigs we picked:

Step 1: Remove the leaves from the stems.

Step 2: Rinse off the dirt.

Step 3: Pat the leaves dry with paper towels.

Step 4: Dry the leaves.

We used a dehydrator that I received for Christmas a few years ago. You can also dry them on a cookie sheet in the oven.

Before:

After. They lose quite a bit of volume!

Step 5: Turn into powder.

I suppose you could use a spice grinder for this step, but we don’t have one, and I don’t want my coffee tasting like sage for the next week, so I’m not using my coffee grinder. Amanda had the idea to grate it against a mesh strainer, which worked great!

After about 20 minutes of patient grating by Amanda, we had quite a bit of sage powder:

Delicata Squash with Brown Butter and Fried Sage

Fall is here, and so is one of my favorite sides: Delicata Squash.

The best way to prepare them comes from my friend Janet Bufton: Roast and top with brown butter and sage.

Ingredients

  • 1 Delicata squash
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/3 stick of butter
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  2. Cut the squash in half length-wise and remove the seeds.
  3. Roast them on a foil-lined sheet for 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, flip them over. Remove them from the oven when they are done.
  4. When you have 5 minutes left on the timer, take the butter and it in a small pan over medium heat.
  5. When the butter is hot and starting to bubble, lay in the sage. Fry it for two minutes, then remove it and lay it on a dry paper towel to wick away the excess butter.
  6. Continue heating the butter for a few more minutes until it turns brown and the solids start to fall to the bottom. Monitor it so that it doesn’t burn.
  7. When it is brown, remove it from the heat. Let cool slightly and pour it into the open halves of the squash. If the butter is still pretty hot, it may bubble quite a bit when your pour it in. Nothing to be worried about. Lay the fried sage on top. Salt to your liking and serve.