Sage is an evergreen, aromatic herb with an earthy flavour, which belongs to the mint family. It has been used for centuries for culinary, medicinal, aromatherapy and decorative purposes. Drying most herbs reduces their flavour, but sage becomes more potent. The process is simple and does not require any special equipment.
Choose a sunny day to harvest the sage. Avoid weather that is too hot to avoid wilting.
Choose the largest branches. Cut the branches using the garden shears.
Wash the leaves thoroughly in the colander using cold water. Allow the water to drain out. Lay the leaves on the tea-towel and pat dry.
Tie the ends of the branches with elastic bands. Hang upside down to dry in a warm, dry place such as an attic, porch or airing cupboard until the leaves are brittle to touch. This usually takes approximately 2 weeks.
Gather the dried branches and crumble the leaves into an airtight container. Your dried sage is now ready to use.
Harvest the sage in the early morning after the dew has dried off the leaves. Use the dried sage in sauces, gravies, dressings and stuffings.
Drying sage makes the flavour stronger so use sparingly in recipes.
Tips and warnings
- Harvest the sage in the early morning after the dew has dried off the leaves.
- Use the dried sage in sauces, gravies, dressings and stuffings.
- Drying sage makes the flavour stronger so use sparingly in recipes.