Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fresh Sage - A Delicious Twist

OK.  There is a good reason I named this blog 'The Healthy NUT.'  I am just a little crazy and this post may prove it.   I have had almost no desire to cook much lately, relying on easy summery recipes that require a minimum of time in the kitchen.  We eat lots of salads and fresh veggies, chicken and fish.

Recently a friend e-mailed me asking for some recipe ideas for a bumper crop of sage.   I suddenly had a burning desire to make something I could garnish with fried sage. Usually I make  vegetarian cassoulet or bean soup in the fall and  both recipes are enhanced by the frizzled sage on top.    But who wants to make a meal like that in August.

Today while in the market, I spotted a butternut squash  -already peeled and cubed.  A recipe was forming in my (crazy) brain.  I added a package of crumbled gorgonzola to the basket and I knew what we were having for dinner.
Perhaps it was the 13 inches of rain that fell on us in 24 hours that gave me a yen for comfort food, but this is what I cooked up tonight.

Quinoa Risotto With Butternut Squash and Fried Sage Leaves and Gorgonzola

Olive Oil
4 cloves ofGarlic
1 Onion
A handful of fresh sage
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2&1/2 cups of water or broth
2 cups of cubed winter squash 
1 cup of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Coat the squash with olive oil and bake in 400 oven for about 30 minutes.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil  and fry the sage leaves quickly.  Remove from the heat when they are crispy and drain on a paper towel. 

In the same pan, heat more oil (a tablespoon) cook the onion for 3-4 minutes add garlic and  quinoa.  cook for 3-4 minutes until quinoa starts to jump around in the pan. Slowly add water or broth, 1/4 cup at a time and stir as you would risotto.  Keep stirring and adding the water. This will take about 25-30 minutes for the quinoa to cook.  

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off the heat and fold in the gorgonzola and the roasted squash.  Garnish with the sage. 

I served this with a straight- from- the- garden -yellow- tomato- and -basil - salad and a simple dressing. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Anyone who has read my recipes before knows that I like a recipe that can be changed up with whatever is on hand.  I can envision this working with asparagus and goat cheese or sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese.  

Today's Take-away 

               Sage - It's not just for Thanksgiving anymore!


  1. That looks so good Barb, when Jane and I were in Italy last year with Ginger and Bo I noticed that there was sage growing all over the place and I am sre there was a lot it in the food we ate. I picked up some heirloom tomatoes today, two different varietys, made a sald, simple with cukes, onions , fresh basil and artichokes, I could live on this stuff. Looking forward to seeing everyone. Ted

  2. This looks so delish! The more I explore with quinoa, the better I like it! My sage is going great guns this year also! Nice to have a new recipe to try that uses some!

    1. I agree, Susan - quinoa is a terrific food - so versatile and nutritious too!

  3. Timing is everything - and at this time of year we are inundated with beautiful sage leaves. I grow it not only in the herb garden, but in the borders as it makes a fabulous evergreen foil for showier plants. Thanks for the recipe!


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