When I think of bread stuffing for poultry, I think of sage.
With temperatures dipping this week, I went to the roof and gathered a collection of herbs from our community herb garden.
Sage is always one of the herbs I pop into a small jar by my sink to use fresh. And, when the end of the garden season arrives, I pick what remains to dry for use over the winter.
I was reading this post over at Leite's Culinaria on homemade breakfast sausage when I noticed the note in the ingredient list, "7 tablespoons rubbed sage (do not substitute ground sage)."
Since I seldom use any sage other than that which I have dried and crushed myself, I did some research.
According to Ask Betty Crocker, "Ground sage is made by grinding the entire leaf into a fine powder like any powdered herb. Rubbed sage is made by rubbing dried whole sage leaves to create a light and fluffy mix. Rubbed sage is lighter and less concentrated so a teaspoon of rubbed sage will be less intense than a teaspoon of ground sage."
It's a lesson learned, one I pass along to you. Be careful which form of dried sage you buy for your holiday meal. And, by the way, if you use dried sage, use about half as much as you would use of the fresh herb.
If you have a sage plant, you can try to keep it going inside or you can pluck the leaves, spread them on a tray, and let them dry. I usually have fresh parsley all year round but soon I'll also have a lyrical supply of sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Favorite uses for sage!
That sausage recipe sounds wonderful and I may make a big batch of that next time I have my meat grinder going. Here are a few more recipes using sage from Leite's Culinaria.
I also love brown butter with sage added as a sauce for pasta, especially ravioli.
Here's a great bread stuffing recipe that will make the cut for my holiday table.
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Words: Penny Cherubino
Photos: ©2016 Penny Cherubino