All of us are off this week for Thanksgiving Break, Momma & I both being educators. This past Saturday, once it warmed back up, I turned the last of the summer garden into the compost bins and put the boys on hauling the rotting remnants of Halloween decorations from the front porch. Momma started hanging lights on the front evergreens while I spread straw over the beds and new trees. I noticed that the sage was looking particularly nice. I started growing sage for one recipe and one recipe only – Eggs with Sage & Polenta – and I never grow enough to sate my love for fried sage.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a live-in Italian grandmother to make your polenta for you (I’m not), then you can find the perfectly serviceable tubes of it in your local supermarket. It keeps well on the shelf, so I always have a few tubes of it in the pantry. I’ve never been able to find acceptable fresh sage in a supermarket, though. It is easy to grow and I stagger the seeds out every few weeks the entire summer so that I always have fresh, young, flavorful sage to pluck.
The ingredients for this are easy: Eggs, olive oil, fresh sage, polenta, salt & pepper.
Cut the polenta into rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Warm your cast-iron skillet up and add just enough olive oil to start browning the polenta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I have some smoked black peppercorns that I ground up just for this morning’s dish. You want it nicely browned on both sides. Once that starts to happen, put in a little more olive oil (the polenta soaks it up pretty quickly) and toss in the whole sage leaves. Watch them – you don’t want them to cook too quickly or to turn brown. What you’re looking for is a nice crispy green as they flavor the oil. Get them out of the oil as soon as they look ready and set them on a paper towel. Drop your eggs in and fry them just enough to get the edges brown and crispy but not so much that you harden the yolk. Pour a fresh up of coffee. Plate and live well.
If you’re unable to find polenta, I’ve used left-over cornbread with this recipe and it was still good eats. The cornbread will be considerably less dense than the polenta, though, and won’t require nearly as much time to brown up.