Traditional Recipe: Fried Sage Leaves


This is another lovely traditional recipe from Genoa; an extremely easy and cheap dish to prepare, especially if you have a sage plant in the garden! Sage is usually a very tough plant, in this cooking process the leaves become very tender and the aroma of this wonderful aromatic herb gets very delicate and pleasant to taste. It is a wonderful starter, but also a great side dish.
You need the kind of sage with big leaves, not all varieties are suitable for this method of preparation.



Fried Sage Leaves.

For 4 people


200 g (7.05 oz) large leaves of sage, washed and dried

100 g (3.5 oz) of plain flour

1 egg white (as a vegan option, make the batter without egg white)

100 ml (3.38 us fl oz) light beer

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

extra virgin olive oil (for frying)




1. In a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the flour. Then slowly pour in the beer, stirring the mixture with a whisk. Cover with a kitchen towel, then let the batter rest for about 30 minutes.


2. Whip the egg whites until stiff, then stir them gently into the batter, just before frying.


3. Heat the extra virgin olive oil, meanwhile, dip the sage into the batter. Fry a few leaves at a time, in plenty of oil.



4. Drain the leaves and place them on a plate with plenty of paper towels, to absorb the excess oil. Season with salt and serve.





Salvia fritta in pastella.

per 4 persone


200 g di foglie grosse di salvia, lavate e asciugate

100 g di farina

1 albume (per una dieta vegana, si puΓ² fare la pastella senza uovo)

100 ml di birra chiara

1 cucchiaio di olio extra vergine d’oliva (per la pastella)

olio extra vergine d’oliva (per friggere)



1. In una terrina, unite 1 cucchiaio d’olio, un pizzico di sale alla farina. Versate poi a filo la birra, mescolando con una frusta l’impasto. Ricoprite con un canovaccio e lasciate riposare l’impasto per 30 minuti.

2. Montate l’albume a neve e incorporate delicatamente nella pastella, poco prima di friggere.

3. Fate scaldare l’olio e immergete la salvia nella pastella. Friggete alcune foglie per volta in olio abbondante.

4. Scolate le foglie e appoggiatele su un piatto con abbondante carta assorbente. Salate e servite.

Β DSC_6195

38 thoughts on “Traditional Recipe: Fried Sage Leaves

  1. Che bellezza! Non ho mai provato di preparare salvia fritta, ma questo deve cambiare, e la tua ricetta mi pare abbastanza fattibile. (I hope I didn’t make too many mistakes, my Italiano is somewhat “arrugginito”).

    1. Try it Ronit, it really is delicious! If you manage to find somebody who has a sage plant in the garden, just take the bigger leaves and it should be fine πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Julianna! It is a traditional recipe but not many people make it these days. My best friend cooks it quite often though. I think it’s a great recipe! Even more so, if you have a sage plant in the garden :-). it’s so easy and cheap to make…And really delicious!!!

  2. This is something I have to try because it surprised me… I know sage as a healing herb, and I never looked at it as a cooking plant… πŸ™‚

    1. Another great recipe – similar to the cooked beans my family makes, but instead of pasta, we use potatoes and instead of sage and rosemary I put mint leaves – I will try to add these herbs in next time, and I will certainly visit your blog again πŸ™‚

  3. Wow, such an interesting preparation of sage! I will be looking at sage in a whole new way the next time I’m at the market. Thanks for sharing this unique treat, Serena!

  4. This is fantastic Serena! We make fried sage leaves all the time when the leaves are full size and the plant is abundantly producing. However, I have never made them like this with a batter. I’ll have to try them. The sage plant is in full swing right now. Lovely recipe.

    1. Hi Seana! Thank you!! I am glad that you like this recipe! πŸ™‚ It’s a good one to keep in mind, quite useful when the fridge is empty, but also easy and delicious! πŸ™‚

  5. i love using sage in butter based sauces, but i usually use ground or dried sage. i’ve never heard of fried sage, but it must be so good!

  6. Nice done, Serena! I will definitely try it, but I need to do it at home. Our company has a strict Zero Alcohol Policy onboard =(
    Honestly, I never tasted fresh Sage leaves. And the process you did on the batter is also new to me. I love this Blog, Ful of Surprises!

    1. Hi Nino! Thank you so much!! Here I followed a traditional recipe, which is kind of forgotten amongst new generations….But my friend mede this dish and I loved it! So here is the recipe, for everyone to enjoy! πŸ™‚

  7. These look incredible!! Have never seen a recipe like it. To begin with, the sage leaves are so large and beautiful– and with that delicate crispy batter. I’m wishing I could drop by your house, for a nibble!

  8. Do you know what variety of sage you use for this recipe? Is it Salvia officinalis?

    1. Hi Colleen! Thank you for contacting me! We use Salvia officinalis latifolia, the sage with a large leaf, but you can use any edible sage. With large leaves is better because you get larger portions to bite….that’s all. πŸ™‚ Let me know…

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