There's something about sage. Especially around the holidays, it shows up in soups, stuffings, and now in a skillet cornbread from The Epicurious Cookbook. Uniquely herbaceous, this fresh herb will take your standard cornbread and add a level of fragrant complexity. Plus, you can't beat the simplicity of baking in a cast-iron skillet.
Tips: The recipe states to swirl the butter until it's melted in the skillet. Wait a couple minutes more until it smells nutty; you've now browned the butter, and it'll add warmth and depth to your cornbread. Also, you don't have to use a cast-iron skillet for this recipe; just make sure your pan is 10 inches in diameter and ovenproof.
Tweaks: Fried sage is delicious. You can fry the chopped pieces before mixing them into the batter, or fry half the whole leaves and leave the rest fresh. Another great idea? Try mixing chopped leaves in some honey to make an accompanying syrup.
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