The Herb of 2015
Savory has a rich history as a cooking herb going back over 2000 years. Both varieties, winter and summer, have a strong flavor and many uses. It’s Latin name for summer savory is Satureja hortensis and winter savory Satureja montana.
Summer savory is lighter flavored and blends well with many flavors. Try it in tea mixes, butters, egg dishes and fresh grilled vegetables.
Winter savory has a stronger flavor and pairs well with wild game meats and beef and roast dinners.
Medicinally, savory also has a history. It is mentioned as a tonic for the reproductive and digestive systems. The early colonists brought both savories with them for just these purposes.
Savory leaves should be harvested as they grow. It dries well and keeps its strong flavor. For cooking, savory is used either fresh or dried with winter savory being more strongly scented.
When used in cooking, savory compliments egg dishes. Beans, lentils and peas all benefit from the addition of savory. Its robust flavor holds up very well in dishes that are slow cooked, like stews, soups and roasts. Who among us can forget the inviting smell of savory in bread crumb dressing used to stuff our Holiday Turkey or oven roasted chicken.
Use summer savory, with its more delicate flavor, for vegetables such as tender baby green beans, and winter savory to enhance the taster of dried beans and lentils.