Sage flowers are beautiful and have a delicate taste of sage, lighter than the leaves. They are perfect for sprinkling on food like risotto, pasta, bean salads and roasted vegetables. I also like to make sage flower butter, which is also a way to make the petals last longer (sage butter will keep in the fridge for a couple of months, depending on the expiring date of the butter, of course!). There are two ways to make this: one is to melt the butter completely (a bit like making ghee) and then insert the flowers little by little while the butter is cooling, and then pour it into a container before it is completely solid. This way you loose a little aroma, but the butter lasts longer. The other is to soften the butter at room temperature and then work the flowers in with a fork or spatula, and then roll the butter up into a log and refrigerate. I love this but then I end up using too much butter as it is so good on warm bread...). In either cases every time you need a bit of flavoured butter you can just cut it or scoop out (in the photo I used an old butter curler I got from Italy). Flowers have less flavour than leaves, but the the petals melts in your mouth, making it ideal for those who find sage leaves a bit too tough.
My favourite way to use sage flower butter is on fresh tagliatelle, and then you need just a bit of Parmigiano and you are done! Delicious!
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©