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HERB OF THE MONTH – JULY: SUMMER SAVORY

HERB OF THE MONTH – JULY: SUMMER SAVORY

The Herb of the Month for July 2021 is Summer Savory, Satureja hortensis.

Summer Savory originated in the eastern Mediterranean and the Caucuses; therefore, this plant likes full sun and rich well-drained soil.  A little fine gravel in the soil mix could be beneficial. It is a low and fast growing shrub with narrow green leaves whose seeds should be planted in the spring. A summer display of flowers, which could be white, lilac, or even pink, would be enjoyed by many pollinators. The leaves are the most flavorful so it’s best to harvest before flowering

Summer Savory is an annual belonging to the mint family and is primarily a culinary herb. It is often preferred to Winter Savory which has a slight bitter taste. Savory was used by ancient Egyptians to season their food, and by the Romans and southern Italians to season vinegars, fish, and lamb. In the Middle Ages, it was even added to sweet baked items. Some compare its peppery flavor to a combination of marjoram and thyme. Today, it is often added to beans, cabbage, and tomatoes.  Experiment with sweet and savory dishes to see what your family likes best.

This herb, which is high in essential vitamins such as A, C, and the B-complex as well as a variety of essential minerals, blends well with other herbs of the garden. Use it with parsley, marjoram, oregano, basil, rosemary, and thyme.. 

Traditionally, Summer Savory as used medicinally to help with coughs, stomach pains, loss of appetite and other common conditions.


General tips for the culinary use of Summer Savory:

  • Use this herb in moderation because it does have a strong flavor; begin with a modest amount.
  • Consider removing the herbal sprigs before you serve your dish.
  • Alternatively, the leaves can be stripped from the stems and used in a dish.
  • Experiment using Summer Savory with other mint related herbs, such as rosemary and oregano.
  • Have some fun by preserving this herb through drying or freezing or, for short term, placing the sprigs in a plastic bag in the crisper.
  • This herb is part of the herbes de Provence mix and will work well in a Bouquet Garni !!

Lemon Chicken Tenders with Herbs

Course: Main Course
Keyword: Summer Savory
Author: Reni Erskine

Ingredients

  • 2 pound (or less) chicken tenders
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon- thinly sliced rounds
  • 1 large clove garlic chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh herbs – Summer Savory, Rosemary, Oregano, and Parsley

Instructions

  • Season chicken tenders with salt and black pepper.
  • Combine remaining ingredients together to make marinade.
  • Place chicken into a zip lock bag and add the marinade:
  • Make sure that the marinade covers all parts of the chicken and place the sealed zip lock bag into the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Using a medium hot skillet, add a little olive oil to brown the chicken on both sides. If the oil has separated from the marinade, 1- 2 tablespoon of this could be used.
  • Remove the tenders from the pan and set aside. Add the marinade to the pan to cook the juices, deglaze the pan, and reduce the sauce. When this step is done, add the tenders back into the pan and serve.
  • Bulgur wheat or ancient grains would make a delicious combination.

Summer Savory Vinegar

Keyword: Summer Savory
Author: Reni Erskine

Ingredients

  • Summer Savory herbal sprigs
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic
  • apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Place all items into a glass canning jar with a plastic lid.
  • Allow to steep for two weeks in a dark cupboard until it has reached the desired strength.
  • Decant and throw out the used herbs.
  • Find a lovely bottle and fill it with the herbal vinegar. Introduce a small well shaped sprig of summer savory into the bottle as a decorative touch.
  • Feel free to make your herbal vinegar from a selection of summer herbs that go well together, such as summer savory, oregano, and rosemary.

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