Pineapple sage is an unusual herb that combines the autumnal, slightly musky fragrance of sage with the sharp, sweet aroma of fresh pineapple. It’s easy to grow in the garden and makes a wonderful addition to recipes where you’d normally use sage, adding a slight tropical twist and a subtle zesty flavour. Here, it livens up a rich, crunchy crust for grilled pork: paired with blue cheese, it’s a nod to the much maligned, but undeniably delicious, party combination of cheese and pineapple. I like to serve this with a medley of roasted beetroot, apple and red onion, flavours that work well with traditional sage but are brightened by the pineapple element. It’s a beautiful riot of autumnal colours and a deeply satisfying dish to eat, the savoury, crispy cheese crust lifted by the sweetness of the caramelized apple and vegetable wedges.
You can buy pineapple sage plants from good garden centres or online, but if they elude you, substitute normal sage – you’ll still have a delicious meal. Experiment with the vegetable accompaniment: you could replace beetroot with squash or pumpkin, and the apple with pear, and you could also swap the blue cheese for goat’s cheese, or the pork for chicken fillets, flattened with a rolling pin to maximize the surface area.