Savory is an herb that belongs to the mint family of Labiatae. This particular herb has different varieties and various names are associated with each of them. One variety, Satureja douglasii is referred to as "Yerba Buena" which literally means the good herb. Another variety of the herb is known as Satureja hortensis whereas one more variety is referred to as Satureja Montana.
This herb has a distinct peppery flavour. This richness of flavour of the herb has led to the naming of a particular genre of cooking, which also means cooking that is full of flavours. The recipes using this herb have been popular since ancient times and the various types of the same herb can be used in almost any kind of cooking. It can be eaten raw as in salads or it can be added to number of dishes like stews, soups, stuffing, marinades and many more. The herb not only has a unique flavour, it also looks amazing. One variety of this herb produces rose colored to white flowers and leaves that are of pale green colour. This type of savoury gives out a fragrance which is a mixture of thyme and mint. This particular variety can be grown indoors. The other variety of the herb has flowers that are usually white to lilac in colour and gives out a sweet aroma. The leaves of this shrub are of coarser variety and are bright green in colour. They look narrow but are very tough.
History of Savory Herb Recipes
The herb has been quite famous since the early Saxon times. The Romans used this herb not only for cooking but also for non-cooking purposes. The herb is widely available in Mediterranean countries and it also grows in a few regions of Ohio, Illinois and other western regions of the US.
Types of the herb
Savory is of mainly of two types – summer and winter. The former needs sunny weather and rich soil to grow. They are usually used in salads and garnishes. They need to be preserved well as they grow only during the summer months. Winter variety, on the other handm was used as a hedging plant during the Tudor times. It also needs sun to grow well and requires a well drained soil. This variety of the herb is available throughout the year.
Cuisines Using Savory Herb Recipes
This herb has been a popular taste maker in the Italian cuisine for a long time. It is also used in traditional Acadian and Transylvanian cuisine. The use of this herb is also popular in Western US mainly as a herbal tea.
Preferable Cooking Methods of the Herb
Savory can be used in end number of ways. It can be used as toppings or garnishes which require no cooking or can be boiled, grilled, fried or baked. The herb is a popular ingredient for making soups, stews, pate, stuffing, fish dishes, meat, chicken and egg dishes and also while making dried herbs.
Popular Savory herb Recipes
- The herb is an important ingredient for making foccacia bread. The distinct flavour of the bread comes from this herb.
- Another tasty stew which requires savory is Fricot. Along with the herb the stew also contains potatoes, onions, carrots and chicken.
- Stuffed cabbage also requires this herb as it brings out the traditional flavour of the dish.
- The herb is also used to make a particular herbal tea.
- While making Italian seasoning, the herb is used generously along with thyme, oregano, basil, sage and rosemary. It is also widely used in the preparation of Salami. In Italian cuisine this herb is used in abundance while preparing beans dishes.
Nutritive Value of the herb
Savory herb is full of minerals and nutrients and has zero cholesterol. It has a lot of health benefits. It is a powerful antiseptic and is also good for the digestive system.
Savory can be readily available because of its popularity. However summer variety of the herb is only available for some time of the year whereas winter variety can be easily bought throughout the year.
The herb can be stored in its dried form for a long period of time. It can be stored in a bottle of vinegar in order to retain the flavour of the summer herb. The vinegar can then be used throughout the year.
Non- Food Uses of Savory herb recipe
Savory has a lot of non-food usages. Because of its antiseptic properties it is used in soaps and toothpastes. The branches of the herb are burnt to create a disinfectant which also has an amazing odour.
- The original name of the city of San Francisco is Yerba Buena. This literally means the ‘good herb’ which is a reference to this herb
- The herb if placed near bee hives adds flavour to the honey.
- Savory has been referred to as an aphrodisiac by the Romans. A well-known French herbalist has referred to the herb as ‘the herb of happiness’.