Summer savory is a tender annual that grows up to 18 inches tall. It has small bronze-green leaves and very small white or lavender flowers. The leaves are pungent and spicy. It grows best in a well-worked loamy soil. Cut leafy tops when the plants are in bud. Hang in an airy, shaded place until crisp and dry. Summer savory is popular as a condiment with meats and vegetables and is generally considered sweeter than winter savory.
Winter Savory (Satureia montana) is a hardy dwarf evergreen which can be propagated by cuttings; but it is more economically grown from seed sown at the same time and treated in the same manner, as Summer Savory. It has dark green, shiny, pointed leaves much stiffer in texture than summer savory. It is a woody perennial plant growing to 2 feet in height with small white or lavender flowers and does best in a light, sandy soil. Pick young shoots and leaves at any time. The leaves are almost evergreen but not as pungent in winter. It is best dried for winter use. Winter savory is a condiment often used as a flavoring in liqueurs. Its taste is not as sweet as summer savory.
SAVORY STUFFED MUSHROOMS
12 large mushrooms
1/3 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp. onion—finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. savory
Remove the stems from 12 large (2-3”) mushrooms and finely chop the stems.
Add 1/3 cup finely chopped feta cheese, the chopped onion, lemon juice and ½ tsp. coarsely ground (I just use the palms of my hands) dried savory. Add a few rounds of ground pepper, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a shallow baking pan.
Press stuffing into the cavity of each mushroom, mounding it a bit to use all the mixture. Place a bit of feta cheese on top of each mushroom and place in the lightly oiled pan. Bake for 10 minutes. These can be made in advance, covered, refrigerated, and baked just before serving.
-Submitted by Nancy Durnford
PEARL ONION GRATIN WITH PARMESAN, SAVORY AND THYME
2 lb. frozen pearl onions—thawed
1 cup heavy cream
3 four-inch sprigs of thyme
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter—melted
1 cup fresh coarse breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly, finely grated
1/2 tsp. dried savory — crumbled
Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the onions and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan over high heat. Stir and separate the onions with a fork as they heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.
Combine the cream, thyme, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the cream comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Brush a shallow 2 quart gratin or baking dish with 1 Tbsp. butter. Toss the breadcrumbs, cheese, savory, the remaining 2 Tbsp. melted butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper.
Spread the onions in the baking dish. Remove the thyme sprigs from the cream. Pour the cream over the onions and scatter the breadcrumbs on top. Bake until the breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown and the cream is bubbling around the edges, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
SAUSAGE, WHITE BEAN AND KALE SOUP WITH SAVORY
4 Italian sausage links, remove the
1 large green bell pepper, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 (14.5 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chopped kale
1 sprig fresh savory or 1/2—1 tsp. dried
juice from half a lime
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Take the sausages and pinch off little sections, rolling them into little balls.
Add the balls to a large skillet and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown all over, for approximately seven minutes. Add the green bell pepper, a bit of olive oil if needed, and sauté until slightly tender, about three minutes.
Add the stock, beans, savory and kale. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a nice pinch of salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the lime juice.
Serve with crusty bread or crackers.