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October Master Gardener Meeting

The best Dallas County Master Gardener Meeting of the year takes places tomorrow, October 24,  at 11:30am at the Farmer’s Branch Recreation Center.  Potluck, Craft Fair, and Seed Exchange all rolled into one fantastic meeting.

Master Gardeners will be selling everything from plants to pastries.

We have been making  pomegranate jelly for two weeks. Remember?

  Pureeing pomegranate seeds-thank you Kim!

Pureeing pomegranate seeds-thank you Kim!

Buy a jar and help us educate Dallas County citizens  become super savvy  gardeners.

Sarah,Lynn, Sheila, Sue-Jammin!

Sarah,Lynn, Sheila, Sue-Jammin!

We will also be selling Lemon Verbena Tea Bread, Pumpkin Bread, Fall themed Sugar Cookies, Banana Apricot Bread, and Feta Sage Cornbread.

Just a thought but wouldn’t the pomegranate jelly be good on sage cornbread!

We expect to sell out of our vintage silver plate spoons stamped to use as garden markers.  You might want to stop by our table early to shop for these and our butterfly/ rose stamp necklaces.


Creamy Polenta With Sage and Roasted Wild Mushrooms

Sage In Snow

On a crisp, cold night this dish will really warm you up.


  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 2/3 cup creme frache or sour cream
  • 1 ounce Monterey jack cheese shredded, (1/4 cup)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (1/4 cup)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
  • Roasted Wild Mushrooms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring water, broth, and garlic to a boil in a large oven proof saucepan over medium high heat.  Slowly mix in polenta.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  cover and place in oven.  Bake until thick, but still creamy, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. (add more water if mixture appears dry.)

Sage Leaves


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage leaves
  • salt

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.  Add sage leaves. Fry until crisp, about 10 seconds.  Drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Set aside.

Combine polenta, creme fraiche, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, butter, salt, and pepper. Spoon polenta onto serving plates.  Top with roasted wild mushrooms. Garnish with sage leaves. Seve Immediately.

Roasted Wild Mushrooms:

  • 8 gloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 pound large fresh wild mushrooms (shitake, oyster, or cremini)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Creamy Polenta With Sage

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. combine garlic, olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, and thyme in a large bowl. Add mushrooms and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper. Arrange mushrooms in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.  Roast until mushrooms are tender and slightly crisp on edges, about 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.


Apple-Sage Tarte Tatin

A rustic and comforting dessert.

6 Granny Smith’s apples, peeled, cored, sliced into 8 wedges

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons minced sage leaves

 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Dough

Garnish:  fresh sage leaves; lightly sweetened whipped cream optional

Apple-Sage Tart Cooking In Iron Skillet

Preheat oven to 425°.

Put apples, lemon juice, and brown sugar in a large bowl and toss to mix; set aside.  Melt butter in a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet or other heavy, oven-safe skillet and stir in granulated sugar.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring, until mixture turns * pale golden.  Add apple mixture and cook, tossing occasionally to coat apples, for 5 minutes.  Add sage leaves and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Set aside while you roll out the dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 10 inch circle for a 9 inch skillet or an 11 inch circle for a 10 inch skillet, lifting dough and turning to prevent sticking to the surface.  Fold the dough in half or quarters and place it over the apples in the skillet.  Unfold the dough, tuck the overhang under the edge of the dough into the skillet and cut 4 slits in a circle at the center of the dough.  Bake 20 minutes until the crust is deep golden.

Using heavy oven mitts, remove skillet from oven and shake lightly to dislodge any stuck apples.  Place a a serving platter over the pan and, gripping the pan and plate lightly together, flip the tart over onto the platter.  Let stand a few minutes before serving or serve at room temperature.  do not refrigerate.  Garnish with a few fresh sage leaves, and serve plain or with whipped cream.

Apple-Sage Tarte Tatin With Sweeetened Whip Cream and Sage Garnish

8 servings.

 *Be sure to only let the mixture get a “pale golden color”.  You really have to watch closely to keep it from getting too brown.

Recipe and Pictures from Linda, adapted from DESSERTS FROM AN HERB GARDEN

Poached Pears With Sage-Honey Glaze

Finish a heavy meal with a lighter touch.

Poached Pear Dessert With Sage-Honey Glaze

6 cups water

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 pears, preferably bosc or d’Anjou

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves

Garnish: sage leaves, heavy cream optional

In a dutch oven or large saucepan, stir together water, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a a simmer.

Meanwhile, peel pears and halve them, leaving the stem intact on one half. Working from the bottom, insert an apple corer or melon baller to remove cores.

Gently place pears in sugar syrup and cook, uncovered, at a steady simmer.  Cooking time may be anywhere from 8 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the pears’ ripeness; pears are done when they are tender and a paring knife can be inserted easily.

Meanwhile combine honey and sage leaves in a small saucepan an bring them just to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Remove from heat and let stand until pears are done.

When pears are done, remove them with a slotted spoon, draining them well, to a large plate, flat sides down.  Reheat sage honey if needed to make it liquid enough to brush onto pears;strain out sage leaves.  Brush honey over each pear (don’t brush the flat sides).  Arrange on serving plates with the stem half of each pear propped on the other half.

Serve pears garnished with sage leaves; drizzle with a little cream if desired.

Recipe and photo by Linda, adapted from DESSERTS FROM AN HERB GARDEN

Cheddar Cheese and Sage Biscuits

Throw a log on the fire and enjoy these “cheesy” biscuits with your favorite bowl of soup.  Makes about 16.

Sage From Linda's Garden

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 cups grated cheddar cheese (9 ounces)

2/3 cup finely sliced fresh sage leaves

2 cups buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and paprika.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in cheese and sage. Add buttermilk, stir with a fork until mixture just comes together to form a sticky dough. On a lightly floured work surface, with floured hands, pat dough into a 1-inch thick round.

Using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out biscuits as close together as possible, dipping cutter into flour each time to prevent sticking. transfer biscuits to a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together egg and cream.  Lightly brush the top of each biscuit with egg wash. Bake until golden brown rotating baking sheet halfway through, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe and photo by Linda, adapted from  NEW ENGLAND OPEN HOUSE.

Thanksgiving’s Coming, Plant Sage Now!

Have you ever thought of putting a bit of sage in your spaghetti sauce? Hmmm. I’ll pass on that one. The beloved herb Salvia officinalis actually is a Mediterranean native that has migrated around the world and now lends its woodsy flavoring to our Thanksgiving table.

Classic Green Sage

If you want to have a patch of sage ready for holiday picking, now is a great time to tuck it in the herb garden. Marian Buchanan, the Dallas herb expert, suggests planting herbs in a generous half day of sunlight, preferably morning light with some afternoon protection.  Good drainage is critical with herbs; Marian says to add at least 2-3 inches of organic compost and expanded shale before planting. Like rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and fennel, sage is sensitive to overwatering.  Marian suggests watering thoroughly, then let the soil dry a bit.

I visited the herb section of our local nursery last week and like jelly beans at the mall candy store, I wanted a variety of each color.  The classic green garden sage is perfect for turkey stuffing and flavoring stock.  Try this sage blended into mild cheese or minced with other herbs in a delectable melted butter. 

Berggarten SageThe ‘Berggarten’ sage leaves are quite a bit larger and more rounded than oval-leafed garden sage.  If dried, this sage can lose its flavor and taste more medicinal after awhile.  Try freezing the fresh leaves for better flavor.  ‘Berggarten’ translates to ‘mountain garden’ in German.  The name comes from the gardening plots of the Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover, Germany, built in 1666 to supply produce for the Herrenhauser Castle in Lower Saxony.

On your herb buying trip, you also might see the adorable ‘Tricolor’ sage. The pink, white and green leaves have the classic sage taste and are popular asTricolor Sage a garnish for roasted turkeys.  Crushed or chopped leaves add a wonderful flavor to soups, teas, vegetables, salmon or tilapia fillets.  If you want to keep the lovely pink edge on this sage, be sure to plant it in sufficient sunlight.  Otherwise, the leaves will fade to just green and white. 

Linda has tempted our blog readers with so many of her recipes.  She’s culling her holiday files now for Thanksgiving classics, many featuring sage. 

In my kitchen, I’m like the Chinese in the 17th century who so admired sage from the Dutch merchants that they would trade three chests of Chinese tea for one chest of sage. 


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