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Garlic Sage Oil (aka Incoherent Rambling)
Jun 20th, 2006

Well crappity, Ian came home from summer school yesterday with a cheery reminder from his teachers that their school is a nut free zone. I guess my lovingly prepared granola bars featuring crunchy granola with almonds won't be accompanying him to school any more. And I'm sure his teachers loved they other mainstay of his lunchbag, the peanut butter sandwich. Woops, glad we didn't send anyone into anaphylactic shock! Although frankly those with peanut allergies would be advised to keep a good ten foot distance from both of my kids, as I'm pretty sure you could scrape a measurable peanut butter sample off either of them at all times. Ian had a great time though, and was raring to go again this morning. Jay's last day of school is tomorrow, so our comfortable routine of the last ten months is coming to an end. We've cleverly arranged their summer activities to minimize the amount of time both boys will be at home together, bouncing off the walls and annoying each other. However that will mean lots of puzzled peering at the calendar, wondering who's got camp that week and where and when. Ah well, we'll muddle through.

I'm sure better writers than I, of which there are myriad on this here internet, could figure out some clever way to segue from updates on their kids summer plans to a discussion of garlic sage oil. But you're stuck with me, so... garlic sage oil! Somehow I forgot to make a substitution for the sage in our weekly CSA box last week, so we ended up with a nice little packet of organic sage in the fridge. Which would have been lovely if we didn't have a huge and prolific organic sage plant of our own gracing our back yard. Since I rarely have the burning desire to consume large quantities of sage all at once, I looked around for some way to preserve the herbs. After all I paid for the damn things, they must be consumed!

An infused oil seemed like a logical way to extend the shelf life of my poor unwanted sage. A search through my cookbook collection came up with a garlic sage oil in A New Way to Cook that looked worthwhile. Although now that I think about it I have a cookbook devoted solely to infused oils that I've never cooked out of and it didn't even occur to me to look there. Damn it all. In preparation for an upcoming post I did an inventory of my cookbooks last night and a frighteningly high percentage of them remain uncooked-from, and here I am letting a golden opportunity slip away.

I must pause here because this post seems to have slipped out of my control and is turning and slipping its way to total incoherence. I tend to not put in a lot of advance preparation on my posts here, I just open up a blank file and start typing and words come out. Not necessarily good words, or interesting words, or in this case coherent words, but words nonetheless. However after this post I may have to amend my technique. Good lord.

Now where was I? Ah hell, I give up. Garlic sage oil. Learn it, love it. I featured mine in an entire dinner based on the garlic sage oil theme - grilled swordfish basted with garlic sage oil with sage leaf garnish, white beans cooked with bacon, chicken stock, and garlic sage oil until creamy, and greens sauted in (what else) garlic sage oil, red pepper flakes, and some of the reserved sliced garlic. My debt has been paid to the great sage gods in the sky.


Garlic & Sage Oil
makes one cup of garlic and sage infused oil

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup lightly packed sage leaves
pinch of kosher salt


Put the garlic and the oil in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the garlic is lightly golden, about five minutes. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the sage leaves and cook until the leaves turn slightly darker and aromatic. Cover the saucepan, take it off the heat and let it steep for a couple hours.

Strain the oil through a fine-mesh strainer into a storage jar of some sort. The sage leaves can be drained on paper towels, sprinkled with the salt, and used as a garnish. The oil can be stored in the fridge for a couple months.

-A New Way to Cook, Sally Schneider
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Comments

Kymm do you remember when you came to Chicago and we drank wine all night and walked back to my apartment and I thought opening another bottle was a good idea. That apartment was located in Bucktown. There was, and is still, an El stop just up the street at the threeway intersection of Damen/Milwaukee/North Avenues. Across from the El used to be a restaurant Soul Kitchen. It was usually filled with colorful people who enjoyed the fine dining and were urban pioneers. It was there I first experienced a chicago cloody mary complete with the heavily salted rim and a beer back. Anyway, Soul Kitchen made salted sage chips. I don't know how they made them. They seemed like those "healthy" french fries that the Good Earth used to serve. They weren't brown but the cooking had brought out the silvery gray of the leaves and muted the greens. They were really good.

-posted by stephanie on Jun 21st, 2006
© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com