Pronounced [SAY-vuh-ree] (satureja) is closely related to the mint family. There are two types of savory, summer and winter. While the winter version is stronger, both are described as having a flavor that is a cross between mint and thyme.
Article by: Barbara Bowman
Summer Savory - satureja hortensis, is a small, bushy annual. The plant is quite woody with branching stems and small leathery leaves. The leaves have a mildly spicy flavor. Use with meats, fish or with beans. The leaves are commonly used in dried-herb mixtures for use in stuffing, pates and other meat dishes.
Winter Savory - satureja montana, forms a clumping plant that is compact and semi-evergreen. Winter savory has a stronger, less refined flavor than the summer variety. Use in slow-simmered stews.
Both savories were enjoyed in Roman cuisine. "The poet, Virgil, 70 -19 BC, celebrated them as being among the most fragrant of plants for growing near beehives". (Houdret, 2001).
Even Shakespeare wrote of savory. The herb was taken to North America by early settlers to remind them of their English gardens. Both savories were enjoyed for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
Savory is available dried year long. Check your produce section or farmer's market for fresh savory. Store the fresh herb in a tightly sealed bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Always best to use fresh herbs as quickly as possible.
Savory is considered to have antiseptic as well as antibacterial properties. It is sometimes used as a digestive aid.
Note: Savories can stimulate the uterus and should not be used by pregnant woman in medicinal doses. Always consult with your Dr. before using medicinal doses of herbs in your diet. This does not apply to small culinary use.
Winter or Summer Savory - You can substitute with thyme which is stronger. Or, combine thyme with a pinch of sage or mint.