Fried Sage and Manchego Cheese Rolls

fresh sage leaves being rolled for Fried Sage and Manchego Cheese Rolls

Fried Sage and Manchego Cheese Rolls ~ tender sage leaves are wrapped around tiny chunks of Manchego cheese and then lightly fried for a unique appetizer.

A while back I picked up an old Italian cookbook at a thrift store. One of the recipes that struck me was an unusual appetizer of rolled and fried sage. I happened to get some especially beautiful large sage leaves the other day and they jogged my memory about those rolls. The original involved anchovies—my adaption is even better, if I do say so myself. I just wrapped up little chunks of Manchego cheese in the the leaves, secured them with toothpicks, and fried them in a shallow pan of hot olive oil. A little red wine, a candle…very Tuscan.

Sage leaves have enough body to them that they hold up when fried, and take on the most wonderful flavor and crispness. Fried sage leaves are a delicacy just by themselves, sometimes served with an aioli type dipping sauce, sometimes as a garnish on Italian dishes.

It helps to have medium to large sage leaves for this, so that you can fit a decent size chunk of cheese inside. You can toss the cheese cubes in flour first if you want, that just helps to keep the cheese from melting out of the leaf too fast.

Starting at the tip, roll the cheese up, and secure with a wooden toothpick.

Get all your rolls ready, and heat about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of olive oil in a saute pan. It should be hot enough that the sage sizzles on contact with the oil.

If your oil is deep enough you can stand the rolls upright in the oil and flash fry the whole roll at once. This is the best method because the cheese doesn’t have a chance to leak out. The rolls will fry in about 30 seconds. If you use shallower oil the easiest (and safest) way to do this is to drop the stuffed leaves, toothpick and all, into the hot oil. and use tongs to flip them over and then remove them to drain. Either way it takes a minute or less to fry them. Drain briefly on a paper towel before serving.

The sage leaf gets crisp, the Manchego melts. What more is there to say?


Thanks for pinnng!

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    November 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I have a monster sage plant in my garden that is so huge. This could really work for me. Thanks

    • Reply
      November 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      You are so lucky, that will be perfect!

  • Reply
    Bites from life with the barking lot
    October 12, 2012 at 5:00 am

    As always, your photographs are amazing….

  • Reply
    October 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    And they look like they’re wrapped in felt!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Really!? This sounds so interesting and creative. So outside the cheese box!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Great idea! 🙂

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    October 9, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Joyous! Nuff said x

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    October 9, 2012 at 2:11 am

    fried sage! Count me in- when can I come over to eat! It sounds so good

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 12:10 am

    These look like an amazing quick appetizer to make for parties! I can just see a big platter getting decimated. 🙂

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    October 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Who would have thought anyone could make sage leaves look so pretty? These sound amazing – what a fun little appetizer!

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    October 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Ummmmm…Want. Don’t know much else to say. I would not be able to stop eating these.

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    October 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    What a great use for my sage leaves!!! And I’ve been dying to try this cheese! Thanks for sharing, I’ll bet this is a very flavorful appetizer!

    Have a great week!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    October 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Now this is so creative! I love that you just rolled them up and put them on toothpicks! My kinda fun little appetizer!

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