When I went to the guitar (classic and rock music) festival in Bath a couple of years ago, I came back from an inspiring Richard Thompson concert in search of a restaurant still serving. Just around the corner from Three Abbey Green, the B&B where I was staying (see thermal coffee pots) I finally managed to find The Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen and I had a really excellent mushroom risotto which was the inspiration for my Trumpets of the Dead risotto recipe.
They served this risotto with fried sage leaves, wonderfully crunchy, burstingly flavourful, professional-standard impressive, I had to get a grip of these little beauties.
They are also good on tagliatelle with tapenade.
Or serve them as a kind of tapas with a glass of cold prosecco.
After much experimentation I developed this method:
- Fill a wide brimmed glass with sparkling water
- Separate however many sage leaves you think you need from their stems
- Fill a small saucepan with vegetable oil up to about an inch (two cm) and get it smoking hot
- Dip the leaves individually into the water, then put them gently on a plate
- Sieve over a VERY light sprinkling of flour, and sprinkle over some smoked salt (not too much) and grind over some pepper
- Drop into the hot oil and leave for about twenty seconds to sizzle until crispy and golden
- Pull out gently with tongs and drain on kitchen paper