Makes 6 servings
These crispy little morsels are known as salvia fritta in Italy, where they are often served at the end of a meal to aid digestion. However, I think they make a wonderful, interesting appetizer, especially when served with a glass of Prosecco—Italy’s answer to champagne. This is a centuries-old recipe in which the fresh sage leaves are treated to a light batter before being fried until golden and crisp. For an even tastier option, sandwich two leaves together with a bit of mozzarella or a smear of anchovy paste before frying.
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. (2 mL) salt
1 tbsp. (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup (60 mL) cold water
2 egg whites, beaten until stiff (if they are at room temperature, they will stiffen quickly)
Vegetable or olive oil for frying
36 fresh sage leaves, rinsed, dried
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, olive oil and water until smooth.
Whisk in one-third of egg whites; fold in the rest.
In a large skillet, heat 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil over medium-high heat to 350°F (180°C). Dip sage into batter in batches, then fry, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Serve immediately.