Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Celebrating the 2015 Herb of the Year-Savories--Part Eight!

Another of My Herb Books from England!
In Herbwise Naturally by Christina Stapley she talks about winter savory (Satureja montana) being good for tubs and window boxes and that it flowers into fall.  Savory is also a great companion with beans and is a prime example of partnerships of herbs in combination with vegetables.  She suggests planting savory among your broad beans to help keep them free from black fly and bean beetles.  Maybe that could be used with regular beans as well.  She talks about winter savory being from the Mediterranean and possibly from Italy.  It is surprisingly tolerant of frosts even considering where it was first grown.  It very cold and frosty conditions, it may lose its leaves, but then they will resprout as spring weather returns.  Straw can be laid over young plants as a precaution when the temperature drops suddenly.  Poor soil (I don't think she means clay soil) maybe unfertilized soil can also help savory to resist bad weather conditions.

In parts of America (she doesn't mention which parts), where the herb has been grown since the days of the early settlers, it will be necessary to give savory the protection of cold frames or a layer or two of straw before winter.  Savory should be clipped back in early summer and again in fall to give a neat hedging.  Otherwise it will reach a height of about 14 inches.  Winter savory flowers white flowers reminiscent of rosemary.  She takes cuttings of flowering stems for posies.  Stem cuttings take readily needing shade at first and once established roots, they will be better in the sun.

Summer savory (Satureja hortensis) is a taller herb with paler green delicate leaves and pretty pink-lilac flowers that form in late summer.  It sometimes has a very short season, but it does self-sow when it is happy.  Creeping savory (Satureja repandra) (different botanical name from Jekka's)  is a very low growing and would be good for scented banks, rock gardens or around paving.  Needs to be sited with care because it doesn't do well with frost.  It will attract bees and have flowers just as the other savories do.  Has the same white flowers as the larger savories do and it grows to be about 3 inches high similarly to pennyroyal.

Use winter savory in stuffing, bean casseroles and stews.  Either savory may be used in fish dishes, particularly with trout.  Summer savory seasons sausage and bean or fish salads.  Savory can be added to pickles and preserves.  Fresh or dried in oil or vinegar.  Summer savory with its milder flavor may be preferable for egg dishes.  Winter savory which is slower growing and stronger in taste can be picked as a fresh herb for much of the year.  Provided that you have leaves on your plants.  The Romans made a sauce of savory much like mint sauce.  Useful in salt free diets in herb blends.  Nettle and savory in combination, more nettle than savory can season a bean casserole.

This is a good herb book for beginners and experts alike of herbs.  Hope you have learned something new that you didn't know before.  She also has a companion book to this one called Herbcraft Naturally which talks about crafts with herbs and has 20 crafts with herbs and her last chapter talks about Herbs at Christmas!  May have to do a post on that chapter!
Need to Do an Additional Review of This Book!
Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be!  Getting warmer here in the 'Burgh!  Winter is not in sight!  Running out of posts!  Oh no!  This posting every day has put a different perspective on things.  Didn't think I wanted to blog any more and now I have found a new gear.  You aren't done hearing from me yet!  Think I need to go for a walk!  I will talk to you tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

A while ago, I had bumped into some info about the reason savory is good for health, then when I went to re-read it, I couldn't remember where I had found it!! But, you mentioned it was "good for salt free diet", so I'm thinking I must have been searching for herbs that are good for high blood pressure, etc. Thanks for triggering my memory with all this info!! Your blog is a wonderful site to visit with a cup of tea!!

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Thanks Bev! Just be sure to check with your doctor if you are on blood pressure medicine. Some blood pressure medicine don't interact well with herbs. xo