I like sage well enough, but it is not necessarily among my favorite of herbs. So, of course, it is the herb that has most thrived in my herb patch this summer and is actually threatening to take over, possibly even capable of climbing up the front steps and moving into the spare room. I have made several pints of sage oil with it (fantastic addition to my pantry) and also dried a large armful of it for Thanksgiving and winter squash recipes.
I made this sage pesto as an experiment to see if it would work. It does. I added it to the grilled ham and cheese sandwich illustrated below and it was delicious, and I tossed it with some pasta into which I had added cubes of sweet potato - also good. I am looking forward to tossing pumpkin ravioli in a generous dollop of it this fall, or thinning it with a splash of red wine vinegar and spooning it over steamed butternut squash once the weather cools.
Despite all this, I still have more than half of the plant to expedite before the first frost.
This makes about 1 pint of pesto.
4 cups of fresh sage leaves, picked over to remove any stems or leaves that are starting to turn yellow
1 cup of walnuts, broken into pieces
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan
1/3 cup of olive oil
Blanch the sage leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds before immediately shocking in an ice bath and draining.
Press out any remaining water and add the sage to a blender or Vitamix along with the oil. Pulse until the oil is flecked with tiny pieces of sage.
With the motor running, add the garlic to the blender and process until smooth. Repeat this with the walnuts (which you can toast for 30 seconds in a hot pan first should you so choose for additional flavor), adding them little by little and pulsing the blender until the walnuts combine with the sage and garlic oil and form a slightly grainy paste.
Add the Parmesan and pulse a few times to combine.
I did not add salt to this as I thought the Parmesan would be enough, but feel free to do so if you feel that the pesto needs more.