Growing and Using Summer Savory

Growing and Using Summer Savory
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Summer savory, Satureja hortensis, is a nice herb to use when you are cutting back on salt-it's flavor is mild, a little bit similar to thyme, but with it's own unique flavor. To me, it has a slightly peppery flavor. You can mince summer savory and combine with bread crumbs for coating fish or vegetables such as squash before sautéing. Use it in potato dishes, tomato sauces, meatballs or vegetable juices. It's also great in egg dishes such as omelets and frittatas.
Summer savory may be direct seeded in the garden after the last frost, keeping it moist until it sprouts. Barely cover with light sand or fine soil-it has a quick germination time of less than a week. You will be able to harvest lightly after 6 weeks, and in another month you can harvest as normal. Use it fresh, or dry it by hanging in bunches. The soil should be similar to herbs such as sage and thyme since it is a Mediterranean herb-you want the soil very well drained, and in a location with full sun for it to do it's best. Savory will need to be cut to the ground before the first frost and hung to dry. It's used as an annual and will not survive winters.

Savory is a great companion plant with beans in the garden and the kitchen, since they taste so well together. Add summer savory to any bean dish!

Summer Savory Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups mixed vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, spinach etc.
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 cups broth-vegetable for chicken
1/4 cup milk or half and half
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. (or more to taste) each of fresh, minced basil, oregano, and summer savory
3/4 cup. orzo or other small pasta:

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are softened. Add any of the chunkier vegetables that will need extra cooking and cook for 5 minutes or so on low. Add the broth, remaining and the vegetables, Bring to a boil. Add orzo, basil and oregano. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Whisk the flour into the milk. Reduce the heat and stir in the flour mixture. Add the savory. Stir frequently while the soup thickens. Salt pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Black Bean Soup with Garlic and Summer Savory

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup summer savory leaves
6 cups cooked black beans (if canned-drain well)
2 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
salt and paprika to taste

Heat the olive oil and saute onions and jalapeno pepper for 3 minutes. Add garlic and half of the summer savory, saute for another 3 minutes. Add 2 cups black beans and 2 cups water. Saute, mixing constantly, until all the water is absorbed by the beans, and the mixture is thick. Add the chicken stock and boil for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve, pressing all the ingredients so they go through the sieve.. Return liquid to pot and add remaining 4 cups of beans, salt and paprika. Boil for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining fresh summer savory leaves. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 6 servings.

Green Beans and Savory

1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. fresh summer savory
1 Tbsp. butter

Cook beans in salted water to cover with the summer savory added to the water. When the beans are tender, drain and toss with butter.

Herbed Roasted Potatoes

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 pounds red potatoes, halved or quartered
1 tsp. fresh, minced savory
1/2 minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh minced marjoram
salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Use some of the oil to coat a heavy baking sheet or pan. Combine potatoes, herbs and remaining oil in pan and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until potatoes are golden brown, stirring frequently, about 40 minutes.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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