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The Wise and Powerful Sage

The word "sage"means someone who is wise, discerning, insightful, etc. But in our culinary world, the common sage is what we are familiar with. Sage (aka salvia divinorum) is one of the oldest medicinal and culinary herbs known to man. The Ancient Egyptians used it as a fertility drug; and, it is believed that in the 1st century C.E. a solution of sage was used to stop the bleeding of wounds, prevent ulcers and heal sores. Sage juice in warm water was also used for hoarseness and coughs.

Yet, to the food lovers of the world, the woodsy-aromatic fragrance of sage conjures images of holiday gatherings as the smell of a roasted turkey stuffed with sage wafts through the house.

Sage, with its soft, grayish-green leaves, is a low-growing evergreen shrub that is popular in ornamental gardens, and widely used in nearly every European cuisine. It would be hard to imagine some Italian dishes without the flavor of sage.

The distinctive peppery flavor that sage produces makes it a natural ingredient for creating delicious stuffing for poultry and pork roasts. And I must mention that sage is used in marinades for meat, fish, lamb, as well as for adding great flavor to soups, puddings, cheeses and vegetables. If you want to preserve sausage meats, dont forget to add sage to the mix, as it makes a wonderful meat preserve.

You can buy whole, crushed or powdered sage for different recipes, be it for cooking, or for making a hot cup of healthy tea. Sage also pairs up nicely with other cooking herbs, such as oregano, rosemary and thyme, but try using a small quantity at first so you wont overpower the other herbs.

We are well into the holiday celebrations so be sure to add sage to your list of must-have herbs for making incredible stuffing, and for making your holiday feasts unforgettable. In the meantime, Ill leave you with this tasty Roasted Cauliflower & Sage recipe - a perfect accompaniment for festive meals.

Roasted Cauliflower and Sage - click link