While not as well-known as they once were both winter (Satureja montana) and summer (Satureja hortensis) savoury are excellent culinary herbs. With its bold, peppery flavour savoury was a much used herb and the strongest flavoured one available in Europe before the introduction of black pepper.
Belonging to the mint family, savoury is known by various common names including: the ‘good herb’ because it was made into a tea which was believed to cure a variety of ailments; and the ‘bean herb’ as it teams particularly well with both fresh and dried beans.
Also known as the ‘herb of love’, savoury has been considered an important ingredient in love portions with summer savoury believed to be an aphrodisiac.
The two savouries are both highly aromatic, but do vary in flavour and habit with winter savoury being a hardy perennial and summer savoury an annual. The flavour and aroma of summer savoury is more delicate than that of winter savoury and the leaves are less coarse
Availability: At The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean we grow both winter and savoury and one or the other is generally available.
Goes with: beef; dried and fresh beans; eggs; fish; lamb; lentils; pork; and veal.
SELECTION, STORAGE, PREPARATION & USING
Selection: Leaves should look fresh and green and have an aromatic aroma.
Storage: Store fresh savoury in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or chop finely, mix with water and freeze in ice cube trays, then store ice cubes in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.
Preparation: In long slow-cooked dishes, such as stews and casseroles, the leaves can be left whole as the long cooking time softens them making them palatable. In dishes with shorter cooking times, chop finely.
Using: Finely chop savoury and mix through egg mixture before scrambling or making an omelette. Finely chop and add to your favourite stuffing mix for vegetables, chicken or meat.
- Savoury Herb Marinade: Place ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 finely chopped cloves garlic and 2 tbsp finely chopped savoury in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. Use to marinate meat, fish or vegetables.