Roasted Potatoes w/ Fried Sage, Brown Butter – A Healing Memory

by on November 1, 2009

fried sage recipe

I’ve often wondered what value my Ethno-botany days at the University have on my current career now. Back in my college days, I dreamed of finding the cure to cancer via medicinal plants, to live in the rainforest with native cultures and learn their traditional methods of healing through local plants. I romanced the idea of healing the world, to be the Medicine Woman, to climb big tall trees and scale the mountain tops, just like Sean Connery.

Now, I photograph pictures of restaurants and screaming babies. Go figure.

When I walked the garden the other morning and found our sage plants in booming glory, with their fuzzy leaves stretching out to the warm Autumn sunlight, old memories of college days were calling out to me.

roasted potatoes with fried sage, brown butter

I was first introduced to sage and many varieties in the  Salvia Genus during a research project I conducted in college. My thesis was focused on medicinal plants used by local Native American tribes and what I expected to be an ordinary school project  was actually, life changing. Through my many hours of interviews and personal time with local members of these tribes, I embarked on a remarkable personal journey of healing through the gentle hands of  Native American healers and their sacred traditions of respecting nature and the Earth.

Sage is powerful beyond the medicinal confines of its medicinal chemicals. Sage is earthy, warm, healing, therapeutic and a wonderful companion in the kitchen. Their fragrant, velvety leaves remind of the desert that I love so much and when I use them in my cooking, I’m instantly transported to those early morning sunrises.

fried sage and brown butter recipe

Sage feeds the belly, mind, soul and it’s equally significant and wonderful to the garden. All the different varieties of sage can brighten your garden and their low water tolerance makes it even easier to grow. They just need some warmth, occasional attention and you’ll be basking in a medicinal garden.

So today I picked some sage sprigs, smelled their warm hints of earthy pine and was reminded of the nutty flavors of brown butter. I thought about this amazing pairing and decided to simply roast them with potatoes to soak up the duo of flavors. This whole dish is simply comforting to me, reminding me of those lessons from my Native American healers and what I’m currently doing today on my food blog.

This fried sage dish makes all my hours of studying significant because now I value the powers of sage beyond the culinary table. Sage is healing to both my appetite and spirit.

I can tell my Professors that I’m finally making good use of my old research days. I think they’ll be pleased.

thank you,
diane

fried sage brown butter recipe

Roasted Potatoes with Fried Sage, Brown Butter Recipe

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 1 hour

The nutty flavor of brown butter, coupled with the earthy sage is wonderful. Even just one teaspoon of the brown butter and fried sage provides an amazing amount of flavor to all those potatoes! Have fun with the fried sage brown butter and add it to your pasta or noodle dishes.

Ingredients:

  • about 2 lbs potatoes, washed, cubed
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • handful of fresh sage leaves
  • about 2-3 tablespoons butter, if you have clarified butter-even better

Directions:

Preheat oven to Roast 400ºF.

  1. In large bowl, toss cut potatoes, about 3 sage leaves (minced) and enough olive oil to coat potatoes. Add salt to taste
  2. Place potatoes on sheet pan and roast in oven for about 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn potatoes at least once during the roasting period.
  3. In frying pan, gently melt butter. Don't melt the butter too quick, or it will burn.
  4. Once butter melts and starts to bubble, add the rest of the sage leaves. Fry sage leaves on both sides, until crispy.
  5. Keep an eye on the butter as you fry the sage & the butter browns. Skim as needed (using clarified butter will reduce this step). Take butter off heat when it is nicely brown, think a rich caramel color, and strain the butter to remove any sediment.
  6. Toss potatoes with the brown butter and fried sage leaves.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Talley November 1, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I love me some fried sage leaves… and brown butter sounds like an even better medium.

I also love the first picture with the tied sage bundle… what gave you the idea to tie them together? I know you’ll probably cover this in your photography tips, but are you using a light tent here?

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2 White on Rice Couple November 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Talley- we always tie our herbs as bouquet garni for our stocks. Usually the bundles are floating in stock, never standing up like this one! It wasn’t easy!
We just shot this in our kitchen, on the dining room table, no light tent. Yes, we’ll eventually cover all this and show everyone how we get shots like these. Stay tuned!

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3 Dominique (de vous à moi...) November 2, 2009 at 2:57 am

Beautiful pictures!!! I don’t have sage in my garden… I have to buy some young plants, because I love using sage when I cook (excuse my bad english!)

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4 Divina November 2, 2009 at 5:37 am

I love the aroma of sage and butter. It wakes up the senses. I don’t mind having these potatoes in the morning. The photos are just work of art even if they the sage and the butter are already in the pan.

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5 MyLastBite November 2, 2009 at 8:37 am

We eat fried sage like they’re cheetos! So addictive!

Stunning photos.

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6 White on Rice Couple November 2, 2009 at 8:39 am

MyLastBite- Cheetos? did someone say cheetos? Addicting they are. :D

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7 sarah November 2, 2009 at 8:41 am

Beautiful photos but also beautiful journaling

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8 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 2, 2009 at 8:46 am

This looks DIVINE. I just made brown butter sauce to go with butternut squash gnocchi’s this wknd, but left out the sage. Darnit.

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9 Nancy (n.o.e.) November 2, 2009 at 8:47 am

I have a ton of sage in my herb garden, and I’m excited to try these potatoes. I’m thinking the same technique would also be good with sweet potatoes. Love your blog and following you on Twitter. (btw, you have a typo, “scared” instead of “sacred”)

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10 White on Rice Couple November 2, 2009 at 11:38 am

nancy- lol! oh thank you! That makes a HUGE difference. Thanks again.

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11 Barbara November 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

Wonderful recipe!
I’ve been using a lot of fresh sage lately too… have some in the fridge right now going to waste so I’ll take my lone potato and have this for dinner.
Your photographs are lovely!

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12 Karen@Mignardise November 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I’ve been reading your wonderful blog for awhile, but this is my first comment.
Love this post. The pictures are gorgeous!
My daughter’s name is Sage and she too is a terrific companion in the kitchen. We loved reading all the nice things you have to say about sage.

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13 Patricia November 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Sage is perfect for fall, and even in the midwest it is still usable from the garden after a hard frost. We are doing a brown butter sage sauce with roasted squash tortellini tonight. The scent of sage must be in the air!!

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14 Caitlin November 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I felt like such an idiot when I finally tried sage a couple years ago – what a flavor I was missing! Now I love it fried, fresh, and everywhere in between. This looks like a definite winner!

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15 Kalyn November 3, 2009 at 12:21 am

Sage is definitely one of my favorite herbs. I like it as an ornamental plant too, in fact next spring I think I’m going to move the purple sage from my herb bed (make room for something else!) and just grow it among the flowers.

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16 Meaghan November 3, 2009 at 6:54 am

This dish sounds really delicious, but today it was your story that I really enjoyed. You can never tell where you’re going to end up, can you? I’m glad you found your way to photography and food blogging, so you can share these stories with the rest of us!
PS-Sage is wonderful, and I’m interested in its medicinal value, too. Maybe I’ll look into this!

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17 Katerina November 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

I wish I could somehow draw a connection between my college education and fried sage in brown butter, but alas I can think of no such connection.

Delicious.

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18 Kate @ Savour Fare November 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

Hmm. I wrote a thesis about franchise law in 19th century England, which sounds much less relevant or useful than medicinal plants. I really love sage — I think it’s underused because it can be bitter or overwhelming, but in the right combination it’s magical, and something about it is very evocative. Sage makes me think of camping trips in junior high school in the high desert, and family Thanksgiving. This looks really wonderful and comforting — Thank you.

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19 white on rice couple November 4, 2009 at 1:05 am

Kate- Agreed! When I smell sage, I definitely imagine the desert. Which reminds me, I’ve gotta get out to the desert again this month!

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20 Stephanie Quilao November 3, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I can practically smell the sage & butter thru the screen :-D Gorgeous pictures. I’m so hungry now!

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21 Manggy November 4, 2009 at 8:01 am

I think they’ll be very impressed with how you turned out– after all, how many of their students can dazzle their taste buds? I do love the combination of sage and brown butter (once made gnocchi with it- hey, that’s potatoes too! awesome), but even if it loves warmth I think the sage would burn if I tried to grow it here, lol :)

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22 zenchef November 4, 2009 at 11:49 am

Simple, good and beautiful. That’s what cooking is all about. I agree with the person who said fried sage leaves are like Cheetos. Addictive they are!

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23 Jennifer November 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I’m finding much comfort in this post as a fellow traveler through a variety of studies and careers who has also found a voice through food blogging. I’m pleased that everything has come round for you. Leave it to food to show us the way.

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24 Lori Lynn November 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I found myself interestingly becoming more and more calm as I read your post.

And fried sage leaves are magical…
LL

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25 TheKitchenWitch November 5, 2009 at 10:36 am

That’s a great looking dish! I think it would make a welcome addition to a Thanksgiving table, with the fried sage…

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26 Chinese Restaurant Supply November 5, 2009 at 11:51 am

Great post! If your Professor is not pleased…you should let me talk to him. lol! I love what you did and the dish came out beautifully! :) Two thumbs up in my book!

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27 Simone (junglefrog) November 5, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Sage tends to be hard to come by here, but I love the flavors… Will have to try and find it soon!

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28 tasteofbeirut November 5, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Just discovered your site. It is wonderful. Will be back often.

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29 Darya November 5, 2009 at 11:29 pm

OMG, this post is beautiful! I never see your photos because I read in RSS. Clearly I’ve been missing out.

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30 Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. November 6, 2009 at 9:24 am

Love the first photo in particular.
Interesting to discover years later how our lives are a journey that we don’t always understand what’s the point of the things that we do, or don’t, but light years later, it all makes sense. The path becomes clearer…

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31 Gina November 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm

This was my first time reading your blog and I love the idea of using food/herbs as medicine for the body and the spirit. The recipe looks delicious and as an amateur wannabe herbalist this is right up my alley!

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32 Lisa November 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I’m going home from work and roast some Yukon golds. I’ll pick the sage on the way in the back door. Thanks for the lovely photos too.

Lisa in IL
http://www.birdfarmsouth.com

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33 Young Wife November 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Hey, I just found your blog. This recipe looks delicious. I love simple dishes.

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34 Jennifer Hess November 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Another beautiful post. It’s always a joy to find my way over here again.

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35 Nisrine@Dinners & Dreams March 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm

What a marvel these potatoes with sage. I can’t wait to try them.

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36 sharmila December 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Gonna try your recipe today… nice blog!
Looking forward to trying out more. My hubby, an enthusiastic cook, has introduced me to all these exotic herbs not commonly used in Indian cooking, now we have a herb garden as well!

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