Sage adds a wonderful flavor to sausage, potatoes and a few other things. I grow a couple plants and take leaves fresh to add to things during the summer.
The plants die back in the harsh winters we have here, but come right back the next spring. Some leaves remain on the plants in the winter but they aren’t good then, so I always gather and dry some sage during the summer. Now is a good time since we’ve had a lot of rain lately and the leaves are beautiful, and we haven’t had any of our really bad heat which will come soon. The leaves lose vigor when the July hot days come, since some of the essential oils of the plant will go down in to the roots and the taste and fragrance won’t be as good as they are right about now.
I find it easiest to just lay the leaves out on a cookie sheet or baking dish, and set them in the oven for a few days. No heat, just a dust free place to let them sit and dry, and also, there could possibly be a few black cat hairs around here, lol. I just wash it, dry it on towels, pick it over for bad spots and then remove the leaves from the stems. I keep the stems and dry them also, for burning.
When they are fully dry, like crackly dry, to prevent mold, then put them in a jar with a tight lid and set them somewhere away from the sun shining in the kitchen. The sage you grow and dry yourself has more flavor than anything you can buy in the store, plus you know what it is your eating, like anything else you grow yourself. Crush up a couple leaves for a soup or another dish in the winter and you get that great flavor and aroma, so good that you might think you’re standing out back where the herbs grow on a nice June day.