I planted some sage seeds two years ago in a sunny garden bed, just outside our back door, and they have become the most wonderful clump of plants. Not only do they stay green almost all winter, providing us with snippets of freshness even in deepest January, they then bloom magnificently from May through to July, with beautiful deep purple flowers which the bees and butterflies adore.
The fabulous thing about sage, is that it can be used fresh or dried. It has a particular affinity with potatoes and pumpkins & squash, its bright yet earthy and savoury tones complimenting their slight sweetness.
This recipe is a lovely and rather indulgent side dish to serve almost any time of year, I do like it best in late spring however, when the sage leaves are lush, and the potatoes are new. Boiling, then mashing the potatoes before sort of saute/frying them to a crispy crust makes a delightfully yummy and deeply satisfying dish. I always make way too much for one dinner, so I can re-fry the potatoes the next day, for extra crispy bits. Extra crispy bits are the best, as I’m sure you are fully aware ( if you aren’t, where have you been? Go make some & get Thee converted to the Extra Crispy Bits Thang).
The trick is to boil the potatoes in their skins, then once soft, slightly dry them out in a hot saucepan, before adding the oils & sage leaves, then frying/sauteing until the magical golden crust forms. As I no longer use butter , I’ve taken to making this with a really good quality, cold pressed, rapeseed oil. This golden coloured oil, combined with some olive oil and a hint of smoked salt, somehow becomes buttery in flavour, so much so, that when I told The Gardener there was no butter in this, he was incredulous. It’s that good. Seriously. (Make sure you get a super-yummy good quality, cold pressed & organic rapeseed oil (canola to the Aussies) it’s soooooo worth it!
Don’t be scared by how long it takes to create that so-delicious potato crust. Hold your nerve and keep going. You’ll need at least 10 minutes to create a crust, then, time permitting, turn the potatoes and squish them down into the saucepan again, to crisp up some more. Trust me, that golden crust is key to the success & deliciousness of this dish.
- 500g new potatoes, washed, skin on
- 4-5 tablespoons rapeseed oil (NB: you might need more!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10-12 fresh sage leaves (plus extra for decorating)
- Maldon Salt ( or smoked salt- even better!)
- Boil the potatoes until soft.
- In a large saucepan, slightly dry the potatoes off over the heat, then add half the oils.
- Smash the potatoes up a bit, roughly, with a potato masher.
- Add the sage leaves, then squish everything down into the saucepan.
- Leave over a mid-heat, ocasionnally shaking the saucepan to prevent the potatoes sticking. They should start getting crispy.
- Once it starts crisping up, turn and mix the potatoes, so that you can make MOAR delicious potatoey crispies.
- Repeat until you can't stand it any longer and serve.
- This recipe goes with anything that potatoes go with. Or just eat on its own. Seriously, it's THAT good.