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:

  1. Fill a wide brimmed glass with sparkling water
  2. Separate however many sage leaves you think you need from their stems
  3. Fill a small saucepan with vegetable oil up to about an inch (two cm) and get it smoking hot
  4. Dip the leaves individually into the water, then put them gently on a plate
  5. Sieve over a VERY light sprinkling of flour, and sprinkle over some smoked salt (not too much) and grind over some pepper
  6. Drop into the hot oil and leave for about twenty seconds to sizzle until crispy and golden
  7. Pull out gently with tongs and drain on kitchen paper

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