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Pungent and Spicy Herbs - Other Sages

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Other Sages

Pungent common sage, Salvia officinalis, has many cultivated varieties grown mainly for the color of their foliage or flowers; all can be used for cooking, and each has its own flavor. Others have milder tastes and distinctly fruity fragrances: pineapple and black-currant sages smell like their eponymous fruits; clary sage, a statuesque biennial with large, wrinkled leaves, has a delicate scent of muscat grapes.

S. o. ‘Tricolor’

Perhaps the most striking of all the sages, this has mottled green, cream, and pink leaves, and blue flowers. The flavor is quite gentle.

Black-currant sage - S. microphylla

Rub the leaves in your hands for a rich scent of black currant; the flavor is less pronounced, however. Deep purple-pink flowers appear in late summer.

Greek sage - S. fruticosa

The large, gray-green, downy leaves of this species are intensely aromatic, with dominant resinous notes. Use very sparingly in cooking, or as a tea.

Clary sage - S. sclarea

This aromatic biennial has a scent reminiscent of muscat grapes; the taste is slightly bitter and balsam-like. The leaves can be used for fritters, while the flowers make a beautiful, edible garnish.

Variegated golden sage - S. o. ‘Icterina’

This cultivated variety has pretty gold-and-green variegated foliage, but rarely flowers. The flavor is considerably milder than that of common sage.

Pineapple sage - S. elegans

Overwintered indoors, this sage grows into a large shrub. The long leaves have a clear, pineapple scent but the flavor is less marked. Striking red flowers appear in autumn. Leaves can be placed in a cake pan to scent a plain cake.

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