It’s a big ask when it comes to deciding on my favourite herb.
We’ve got the standards – mint (5 varieties), broad-leafed parsley (is there really any other kind?), basil (3 varieties) and chives.
Plus rosemary, thyme (4 varieties), borage, chervil, summer savoury, sorrel (green and red), tripmadam (sedum relexum), rue, oregano, marjoram, salad burnet, coriander and tarragon. I can’t grow dill…
But sage (salvia officinalis) is definitely up there.
It’s hardy (even in our semi-arctic winters), it’s medicinally beneficial, it’s bee-friendly and it’s attractive even in its common grey-green foliaged form.
Even more attractive are the yellow (above), purple and tricolour varieties.
And it’s a great culinary herb.
Buy the best (fresh) ravioli you can afford and just before the end of the cooking time, throw a big handful of fresh sage leaves into a pan in which you’ve heated some really good olive oil.
Swish them around and they’ll crisp up within seconds.
In the meantime, someone else has strained the ravioli onto the plates, so transfer the sage leaves (which shouldn’t be black…) onto the ravioli, pour the olive oil over and top with shaved parmesan.
For dessert, fresh strawberries with finely chopped pineapple sage.