In homage to our newly introduced Sage finish—a calming, refreshing grey/green hue—we thought we would tap into the parallel qualities of the perennial sage plant. A subtle yet vital flavor in any dish that requires the herb for culinary purposes, the hue has the same effect on design. It not only adds a restorative element but the color itself exudes an unmistakable feeling of a thriving, flourishing space.
And since we’re all about healthy cooking and well-deserved savory rewards, we thought we’d seek out Berkshires-based chef and culinary consultant Katy Sparks to conceive and share a sage-focused recipe inspired by our new hue. She did not disappoint. See below for directions on how to create a decadent risotto dish that will become a special occasion (or everyday, who are we kidding?) staple.
Fried Sage and Meyer Lemon Risotto
By Katy Sparks
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
¼ cup finely minced onion
2 small cloves garlic, finely minced
4–6 sage leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon (zest first before juicing and reserve zest)
4 cups chicken stock, heated
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grated parmesan
1 bunch sage for frying
Zest of meyer lemon
Olive oil for frying sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly ground coriander seeds (optional but it adds a nice fragrance)
Frying the sage leaves:
Heat enough olive oil in a skillet to be about half and inch deep. Remove stems from the sage leaves and make sure they are nice and dry. Once the olive oil is shimmering, test the temperature by adding 1 sage leaf. It should make a crackling sound immediately. Add 4–6 sage leaves at a time and cook until they stop sizzling—about 10 seconds per side. Turn once. Drain on a paper towel and lightly season with sea salt. Set aside for garnishing the risotto. Save the sage-scented olive oil for other uses.
Making the Risotto:
Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, garlic and sage and cook until onions are soft—about 4 minutes. Add the rice and toast in the onion mixture over medium heat for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the white wine and the Meyer lemon juice and reduce by half while stirring.
Start adding the heated chicken stock in 1 cup at a time while stirring. Once each cup of stock has been absorbed by the rice add another until the rice is just a little al dente.
Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan and the Meyer lemon zest. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish each plate with fried sage leaves, freshly ground black pepper, freshly ground coriander seeds and a little more grated parmesan.