Fresh sage is strongly herbal, spicy and warming, and is most commonly associated with cooked dishes, especially meat, but just a little added to a salad of green beans, feta and tomatoes, or white beans, tomatoes and olives, can be a revelation. Sage leaves turn gorgeously crisp when sizzled in butter, and are nearly as good sizzled in olive oil. One of my favourite fast meals is eggs fried in extra virgin olive oil with sizzled sage leaves, garlic slivers and sliced red chilli, finished with flakes of parmesan. Fast and fabulous for midweek. Sage adds layers of flavour to blander meats, such as veal and chicken, and, dare I say it, give stuffings a bit of oomph – and this was nearly its downfall. Whoever first put dried sage in a packet stuffing for chicken has a lot to answer for! You can dry your own sage just by hanging a bunch of it in a warm spot – and it will be infinitely better than the stuff sold as rubbed sage. Sage is easy enough to grow – just cut it back at the end of autumn, and about every four years, take cuttings and start off new plants (sage plants eventually get dry and leggy).