There are two main kinds:
- santoreggia: summer savory (Satureia hortensis)
- santoreggia montana: winter savory (Satureia montana)
The word comes from the Latin satura, indicating a mixed dish, usually of legumes, which was seasoned with santoreggia and other herbs. According to my dictionary, there is also an influence of the word santo (holy) as a reference to the therapeutic properties of the plant, which have been known since ancient times. Santoreggia has a flavor reminiscent of thyme, with mint and pepper tones. Besides being used as seasoning, it is an ingredients of herb liqueurs.
My experience with savory prior to last Sunday, when I bought the lovely plant you can see in the photo, was exactly equal to zero, but I will catch up rapidly. I used a few leaves right away to season an improptu salad I made with quinoa, a roasted red bell pepper, grilled tofu and toasted pistachios (pistacchi, which I will talk about in an upcoming post) and I could taste it among the other herbs I had used.
My next step will be to 'do as the Romans did' and use santoreggia to season legumes, like the lentils (lenticchie) I have in my cupboard.
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, a food blogging event started by Kalyn's Kitchen, hosted this week by The Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan. Here's the roundup of WHB #92.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the santoreggia audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]
This is an herb I have very little experience with. I've read a bit about the difference between the winter and summer savory, but I don't even remember now which one is preferred. I want to try to remember to plan this next year.
Posted by: Kalyn | July 18, 2007 at 02:06 PM
I love this fascinating and informative blog!
I tried this summer savory this summer for the first time in nearly twenty years. It is nicely peppery and it went very well with everything I made so far.
Posted by: the chocolate lady | July 18, 2007 at 05:19 PM
Kalyn, I read that summer savory is an annual, while winter is a perennial. I will try the summer one too, next year, so I can compare the two.
Thanks Eve. I think the peppery note is really pleasant.
Posted by: Simona Carini | July 19, 2007 at 08:31 AM
This was my first year growing this and I have had a hard time figuring what to use it in.
I am going to try a bean salad but haven't gotten around to it just yet.
Posted by: Sue (coffeepot) | July 30, 2007 at 02:04 PM
Welcome, Sue. Last night I made some roasted eggplants and mixed some savory with the other herbs I used. Adding it to a bean salad sounds like a great idea.
Posted by: Simona Carini | July 31, 2007 at 07:49 AM
any ideas where it can be found outside of Italy? Haven't seen it for sale or growing wild anywhere - here in Ireland?
Easy to grow in cold climates?
Posted by: Antonella | May 06, 2009 at 11:06 PM
Hi Antonella. Savory is a Mediterranean plant. I am growing my winter savory on the north coast of California, where the temperature doesn't get very high in the summer and in the winter it can go below 0 C at night. You may be able to grow it in Ireland. I would contact some nurseries there and ask them if they have seedlings. I hope you'll find some!
Posted by: Simona Carini | May 07, 2009 at 09:54 AM