Sage fritters were first made by the Romans thousands of years ago, and luckily for us, the art has been passed down to their modern ancestors. Although traditionally eaten after dinner to aid digestion, these tender little fritters are a wonderful accompaniment to drinks or a soup course, too. Sage fritters are the most pungent and stimulating to the appetite, but borage with its slight cucumber flavor; basil, or sorrel also make interesting fritters.
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 extra-large egg white
Carefully wash and dry the sage leaves, to avoid bruising. In a saucepan, melt the butter in 1/2 cup water over low heat; Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Gradually blend in the butter-water mixture and the milk, beating until the batter is smooth. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 300°. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large skillet. The temperature is right when 2 little drop of the dough browns quickly but doesn‘t burn. In a bowl, beat the egg white until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the white into the batter. Dip a few of the sage leaves in the batter and drop them one at a time into the oil to cook. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry until the fritters are golden brown on both sides, turning once during cooking.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the fritters from the oil and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in the oven until all of the fritters are cooked, then serve at once.