Far too many garnishes are simply bad ideas. Fussy little tomato roses are too precious for any serious eater. If the garnish isn’t a thoughtful and tasty complement to the dish it served with, it has failed. And God help anyone that tries to serve me any garnish that is inedible. Crispily fried sage leaves pass the muster for many dishes. Delicate and crunchy, fried sage leaves can be served whole or crushed and served on squash or bean soups, added to salads, as a condiment for burgers or even munched on as a snack.

Using regular sage leaves is too overpowering in flavour and the texture is unappealing. Once fried in oil, the crispy leaves are light and delicious.

Crispy Fried Sage Leaves

1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch of sage (25 30 leaves)
Fine grain sea salt

• Pinch off leaves from sage. Wash the leaves and then ensure that they are thoroughly dried.
• Line a plate with several layers of paper towel.
• Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat and allow to heat up for a minute or so.
• Add the olive oil and then carefully add one of the fresh sage leaves. Check to see that your oil is hot enough so that the sage leaf fries in about 3-5 seconds per side. Keep the leaf flat and submerged in the oil using a fork or spatula. Flip the leaves over and fry for an additional 3-5 seconds. If all goes well start cooking additional leaves in small batches of 4 or 5 at a time.
•  Remove from the oil and place on the sheets of paper towel.
• Once they are cooling on the sheets of paper towel season with salt.

The leaves crisp up after they have been removed from the hot oil and begin to cool down.
Leaves should emerge a bright green with no hints of browning.
If the leaves are turning brown or cooking too quickly turn the heat down to medium low.
The fried sage will keep for up to 2 days in a tightly closed container at room temperature.