Monday, May 12

Good Eating Monday: Herb Savvy with Pineapple Sage

Today's Good Eating Topic is Herb Savvy with Pineapple Sage:
Pineapple sage can fool you when you see it on the herb shelf at your local southern garden centers, because it's so small.
It grows into a moderate size shrub: 30 inches tall to 36 inches wide, has red flowers and hummingbirds like it.
But what else is it good for?

Well, cooking for one.

Just add the chopped leaves at the end of cooking time:

*Use in chicken and pork dishes, cream cheese, jams, jellies and fruit salad. (Really yummy with pork!)

* Pineapple sage can stand in for regular sage in almost any recipe.
* The flowers, with their citrus-mint flavor, can be tossed into salads and teas.

*The leaves can be used to flavor teas.

It can also be used as a dried as an aromatic in home-made potpourri or sachets.

Planting & Care:This is definitely more of a southern herb for zone 8 to 11.
 If you plant it further north, it will require heavy mulching or a pot you can move indoors before frost. It doesn't like temps below freezing.
It's perennial, prefers mild winters and light sun to partial shade and doesn't like being too wet.
For companion planting, it is said to improve the growth of carrots, marjoram, strawberries and tomatoes.
Don't harvest leaves the first year. Then, the 2nd year, harvest the before blooming and use the small, new leaves, which are most flavorful.
(All useful to know, since I didn't know that before!)
A couple of recipes you can try:
I found these on another blog where I found all this info :)
I'm not much of a tea drinker, but the cake sounds interesting!

Pineapple Sage Tea
(Spring or bottled water is used so as not to overpower the delicate pineapple flavor with any water-related aftertaste)
1 quart spring water
½ cup packed fresh pineapple sage leaves
3 T honey
1 lemon or lime
Bring water just to a boil and pour over the sage leaves. Stir in honey and lemon or lime juice to taste. Steep tea for approximately 20 minutes. Bring to a boil and then strain into mugs.

Pineapple Sage Pound Cake
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
¼ cup honey 
5 eggs
2 Tbsp chopped pineapple sage leaves (small, new leaves have the most flavor)
3 Tbsp chopped pineapple sage flowers (optional)
1 t grated lemon peel
4 Tbsp well-squeezed, chopped pineapple
1 t baking powder
2 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in honey. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to beat one minute after each addition. Beat in sage leaves, flowers and lemon peel. Stir dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Fold these together gently until just blended. Pour into 4 mini loaf pans (6”x 3”x 2”). Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.
(I'd probably try a regular loaf pan rather then the mini's.)
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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