(You can store the prepared leaves in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for a few days before drying.).“The easiest way to air dry sturdy herbs [such as winter savoury] is to tie the washed branches into small bundles (5-6 stems) and hang them upside down, in a warm (21 to 70-80°F), dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.Finding the right spot is sometimes difficult: basements are usually too damp; garages have car fumes.Just make sure there is good air circulation so the herbs don’t get moldy.Herbs can be air-dried outdoors, but better color and flavor retention usually results from drying indoors (especially in the humid Midwest).But as there are emerging studies on listeria, salmonella and other nasties surviving on unwashed dried herbs, we recommend the washing step to reduce the bacterial load.Let the dehydrated product cool completely to room temperature before packing it into storage containers.“The leaves give an important accent to chicken and turkey stuffing, sausage, and some egg dishes.Combined with parsley and onion juice, they give zest to French omelets in winter.”. .

Growing Winter Savory

Its leaves and flowers taste spicy and peppery like its annual relative, summer savory, Satureja hortensis.Some sources say that summer savory tastes milder, sweeter, or more pleasant in cooked dishes.Some studies also suggest that it can be helpful against problems ranging from bad breath to cancer.For details see the Medicinal Uses section of (link to Summer vs. Winter Savory article).Sarah Garland’s Complete Book of Herbs and Spices recommends it for zones 4-9 but says that the plants may need protection in cold weather.Rodale says that winter savory is hardy to Zone 6 and that plants tend to die out after 2-3 years.If your winter savory has spread, you may also make root divisions in either spring or fall.You might spray it with seaweed extract twice or thrice during the growing season for a micronutrient boost.On the other hand, Rodale’s recommends pruning off the top half in midsummer or early fall before flowering.Rodale’s warns that overwatered and under-ventilated seedlings may develop the soft stem rot called damping-off.Overwatered older plants in heavy or poorly drained soils may develop the root rot called Rhizoctonia.Winter savory will grow better if it is cut back in the fall; you can remove 1/3 or ½ of the plant, depending on which source you believe.For best flavor, harvest winter savory in the morning, after the dew is off but before the day turns hot.Winter savory will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days if you set it in a jar of water and cover it with a plastic bag.Cover the jar—use 2 layers of plastic wrap under metal lids to prevent corrosion.The Colorado Extension urges home cooks to dip herbs in a bleach solution to kill off bacteria, and to heat vinegar near the boiling point before pouring it in.Cream ingredients together with a fork spread them on plastic wrap, roll this into a log, and freeze it.Winter savory is a fairly hassle-free perennial that can please your palate, improve your health, and attract pollinators to your garden. .

Savory: Kitchen Basics

There are two varieties of the herb savory to choose from: summer savory—a fast growing annual plant, and winter savory—a shrubby perennial.Winter savory also can be used to season sausages, lamb, pork, game and other long-cooking meat dishes and oil-rich fish such as eel and mackerel.Savory is good with cabbage and root vegetables such as onions because it reduces their strong cooking smells.Add both summer and winter savory leaves to herb bunches—bouquets garnis—to flavor soups, stews, and broths.Summer savory has soft, tender, grayish leaves and white or pinkish flowers.Hang sprigs to dry in an airy, dark place and later crumble the leaves into powder.Use annual summer savory to flavor meat, fish, eggs, soup, beans, peas, and lentils.Use perennial winter savory in salads, soups, dressings, sausage, roast poultry, fish, beef and braised meats, pork, and bean dishes.Savory has a flavor affinity for beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrot, cheese, cucumbers, eggs, kale, legumes—especially lentils and white beans, mushroom, olive, potatoes, rabbit, sweet peppers, tomatoes turnips, vegetable salads and soups, stuffings, tomato-based sauces, marinades, broiled veal and pork, poultry, and rabbit, and fish, especially trout.Savory combines well with basil, bay, cumin, garlic, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. .

Summer Savory

Summer savory, most often compared in flavor to marjoram or thyme, is an annual plant with lilac colored tubular flowers.It is a particularly popular herb in Atlantic Canada, where it is used as the main flavoring agents in stuffing- much like sage is used in the United States.Or mix finely chopped savory with just enough olive oil or butter to bind them together, and freeze the mixture in ice cube trays. .

Savory for Winter Dishes

It is featured in my Veggie Chili recipe along with garlic, cilantro, parsley, hot peppers and bittersweet chocolate—so cook this warming winter dish for your valentine!These herbs are delicious with cabbage and Brussels sprouts, very good with meats, especially pork and veal, and wonderful with corn.They offer tomatoes a nice change from basil and marjoram or oregano, and potatoes a rest from parsley and chives.In fact, summer savory has a flavor reminiscent of aromatic marjoram and thyme together, a blend of sweet and spicy tastes.But the savories offer even more virtues to the cook: versatility, ease of combining with other herbs, good flavor when dried, and the bonus of being easy to grow.Winter savory is a perennial, growing about ten to twelve inches tall with thickly set, glossy deep green leaves.A place in full sun will produce fine winter savory if the roots are kept moist and the leaves are kept dry. .

How to Grow Winter Savory

Kitchen herbs like parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme are commonly grown in the home garden, but many enthusiasts miss out on the delights of winter savory.A perennial evergreen, S. montana has a much longer season than its close cousin summer savory (S. hortensis) – which you can read all about here.Low maintenance and easy to grow, it’s also a versatile performer in the kitchen – and year-round convenience is what gives S.

montana its must-have status in my garden.A freshly picked sprig added to a simmering pot of beans or stew makes a cold winter’s day seem just a little bit warmer!The glossy, 1-inch leaves are dense, slender, slightly leathery, and highly aromatic, appearing opposite on the stems.Small, dainty flowers appear on terminal spikes throughout summer in colors of mauve, pink, and white.The closely related summer species, S. hortensis, is a fast-growing annual, with a less intense and fresher flavor than S. montana.Aptly named, savory comes from the from the old Latin root word sapor, which became the Old French savoure – for tasty or fragrant.It was the Roman poet Virgil who recommended planting it near beehives, and in “The Complete Herbal,” Nicolas Culpeper favors it as a stimulant to “quicken the dull spirits.”.Introduced to Europe by the Romans, medieval walled gardens grew both the summer and winter species, and it was used to stuff meats and poultry.The Germans discovered that fresh sprigs added to a cooking pot of beans made them easier to digest.During the economic expansion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, French and English garden designers of the day recommended planting this herb for its fragrance.When the seedlings have at least four sets of true leaves, transplant to containers or the herb garden – provided there’s no risk of frost.Enrich the planting soil with a mix of 1/3 organic matter such as aged compost or well-rotted manure, and 1/3 coarse sand or grit to improve drainage.Apply a top dressing of organic matter like compost in spring but avoid liquid fertilizers – savory’s flavor is improved when grown in lean soil.If temperatures in your region regularly dip to this mark, select a sheltered planting site and provide cold insulation during the winter months.A thick, 4- to 5-inch-thick straw mulch spread over the crown and out to the drip line will help protect against freezing temperatures and drying winds.Older plants can become woody and benefit from regular pruning to encourage new growth and a full, bushy form.To bring plants indoors for winter, provide a pot measuring at least 12 inches in diameter and with a similar depth.Water lightly when the top inch of soil is dry, and ensure plants are well-spaced in the pot with ample air circulation.To dry, bundle stems with kitchen twine and hang them in a cool, airy spot out of direct sunlight.In the kitchen, flavorful leaves can be used fresh or dried in numerous recipes, typically to season fish, game, meat, and poultry, as well as in soups, stews, and stuffing.And it’s delicious added to herb or cheese breads – it’s what gives a spicy tang to Sue’s Savory Muffins, for example. .

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