One More Green Mint

There are two types of savory, a member of the mint family, that are used in cooking: summer, which is an annual, and winter, a perennial. Both are native to the Mediterranean region. Savory is one of the oldest culinary herbs, and the Romans are known to have made a sauce of savory and vinegar. Summer savory, which grows to about 18 inches tall, has small green to dark green leaves and bears white or purple flowers, which are sometimes part of the mix when the herb is dried. It is very fragrant, and its aroma is somewhat peppery, with strong notes of thyme; the taste is also peppery. Winter savory is a smaller plant, with small, shiny, dark green leaves and white flowers when mature; it looks something like thyme at first glance. Its fragrance and flavor are similar to that of summer savory but it has a more pungent bite.

Savory dries well and will keep for months if stored properly. It is sometimes called the bean herb, and it is excellent in dried bean dishes and with other legumes, retaining its flavor even during long simmering. It is also good in stuffings and in sausages and other charcuterie. Generally, the two types can be used interchangeably, but if substituting winter savory in a recipe that calls for the summer herb, you may want to reduce the amount. Savory complements chicken, pork, veal, and beef and can be used in an herb rub or marinade for any of these; it is also good in hearty meat stews. It goes well with trout and other fish, especially when these are grilled. Savory is one of the ingredients in classic