Fried Sage Leaves

Fried sage leaves are probably the easiest appetizer you can serve to open a summer Tuscan meal. They are usually paired with other fried goodness, such as zucchini flowers or leftover slices of stale bread. Look in your pantry: do you have flour? Beer? I guess you have water, salt, and black pepper. Now you just need meaty fresh sage leaves, the biggest you can get. You’re done. Make a batter thick enough to cover the sage leaves and deep-fry every leaf until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with flaky salt and serve piping hot with a chilled wine.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of ground black pepper
  • 50 ml (1.69 fl oz) of beer
  • 100 ml (3.38 fl oz) of water
  • About 30 sage leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
YIELD: 30 crisp leaves
COURSE: Appetizers Tapas Meze
CUISINE: Italian
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Total Time: 20 min
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the batter. Mix in a bowl flour, salt, and pepper, then add slowly water and beer. Add the liquid little by little in order to avoid lumps. Let the batter rest in the fridge for half an hour until chilled.
  2. Heat two inches of olive oil in a large skillet, dip the leaves into the batter and remove the excess. When the olive oil is hot, lay the leaves well-spaced into the skillet and fry for a few minutes per side, until crisp, puffed and golden. Fry the leaves in batches, so they won't stick together.
  3. Remove the sage leaves from the olive oil, lay them in a plate with a few sheets of paper towel to absorb the excess olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!