13 Feb Learn About… Savory
“Learn About…” is a recurring post where we’ll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!
Savory isn’t something you might have in your pantry at any given time. It’s no basil or even thyme.
But its presence is undeniable; just a little of it can really make a difference in your dishes.
According to ancient Greek folklore, savory was given the name satureja after the word “satyr.” Satyrs were believed to live in fields of savory.
There are two types of savory in the family: summer savory (Satureja hortensis) and winter savory (Satureja montana). While both are edible, summer savory is much more common than its winter counterpart.
They’re named as such because summer savory is an annual plant (that is, they only live for one season) and winter savory is a perennial plant (it regrows year after year).
Summer savory grows between July and September. They’re one of the prettier herbs to grow, blossoming lilac flowers and bronzy green leaves.
It’s one of the primary ingredients of herbes de provence, the classic French seasoning. Summer savory is also often used to flavor sausages as its sweet aroma acts as a nice foil to the heartiness of pork.
Winter savory is much stronger in flavor than summer savory. It also looks different than summer savory; its leaves are oval shaped and it grows white flowers.
It’s also believed to have antiseptic properties and digestive benefits. Oils are also made with savory for medicinal purposes.
Savory may seem difficult to incorporate into your cooking. Summer savory can be used for just about any meat as it’s more delicate in flavor than winter savory.
The herb blends very well with basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary. In fact, summer savory tastes similar to thyme, but with a pinier taste.
Curious as to what you can do with savory? With these recipes below, you can try savory out today!
Grilled Country Ribs with Summer Savory Mustard Marinade
From 66 Square Feet
1 rack organic baby back ribs, intact
1/2 cup finely chopped herbs (half parsley, half summer savoury)
1/4 lime, very thinly sliced and then chopped (including zest)
Juice of rest of lime plus 1 additional lime’s juice
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1. Combine herbs with lime, juice, garlic, sugar and pepper. Rub all over ribs and let them marinate for as long as you can stand it.
2. Turn the broiler to Hellish, and when it is as hot as it can get, pop the ribs beneath (I use my cast iron skillet) till one side is getting yummy-smelling with little black bits, then you flip them. About 10 minutes.
3. Add a little bit of water to preserve the delicious pan-scrapings when you flip.
4. It’s done when the second side is also looking dark brown, another 10 minutes. Let the ribs rest in the pan, covered, for another 10 minutes at least, covered with foil. Then cut them individually, pile into a bowl and serve with plenty of napkins and bowl of warm water for finger-dipping.
Savory Bread Pudding
From Martha Stewart
3/4 pound day-old sourdough bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 sprigs winter savory or thyme, leaves only, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 pound Fresh Pork Sausage
2 leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise, washed, and sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 pound small fresh chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and dried
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large green apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
5 large eggs
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons Persillade
Black truffle, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, toss the bread cubes with melted butter and chopped savory. Transfer to a baking sheet and toast until crispy and golden, about 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Break up sausage into silver-dollar-sized pieces and add to skillet; cook thoroughly about 10 minutes. Transfer sausage to a large bowl and let cool.
4. Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to skillet. Add leeks and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple and transfer mixture to bowl with sausage; let cool.
5. Brush a 9-inch square baking dish with olive oil. Add bread cubes to bowl with sausage and leek mixture; toss to combine and transfer to baking dish.
6. In a large bowl, whisk together cream, eggs, vinegar, 3/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and the persillade; pour over bread mixture. Cover baking dish tightly with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil and transfer to oven. Bake until a paring knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean, about 1 hour.
7. Uncover and sprinkle pudding with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Preheat the broiler; broil pudding until golden, about 3 minutes. Cut into squares and serve garnished with truffles if desired.
Savory may not bloom every season, but with an Urban Cultivator, you can grow savory in two short weeks’ time.
Have a special recipe that uses savory? Share it with us in the comments section!