Friday, October 19, 2012

Pineapple sage

I have been growing pineapple sage for a few years. It grows almost like a weed and it is fairly easy to divide and transplant. The plant grows tall, over 5 feet tall and has more leaves than I will ever be able to use! The leaves look similar to sage, they have that downy look that regular sage has. But the sage fragrance is so faint as to be almost non-existent. What you do smell is a lovely, tropical pineapple scent.

There are many uses for the leaves and I haven't even begun to make use of all of them.  A few things I have tried are using the leaves as garnish in drinks, iced tea is a favorite. Chopped up and added to salads is nice too. Or course you can add the leaves to fruit salads but it also works well in a lettuce salad when using a lemon vinaigrette.  The leaves minced and mixed with cream cheese make a delicious spread for bread or crackers. I have used the leaves in a mango salsa as well as in a marinade for pork or chicken.  I had thought to try making a sorbet this year but never tried it with the pineapple sage, I would imagine it would be very refreshing!  I have read that you can dry the leaves and use them for a tea. I have tried drying leaves but have found them to loose their scent.  As  I do with all my excess herbs I throw some cuttings into the chicken house to freshen it up.

If you do grow pineapple sage make sure you don't cut it back in the fall until after it blooms.  The blooms are a vibrant red, very much appreciated as most everything else will be finished blooming and growing by this time.  I have heard the blooms are edible but I have never tried them, I enjoy leaving them on the plant to enjoy their beauty.

'til next time...

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