Summer savory is one of my favorite herbs to use in my cooking because it adds a serious punch to any dish, at the same time it is such a little known herb that finding plants is not easy.
Most large retailers will carry a small variety of well-known herbs, but summer savory is often left out of the mix making it necessary to grow your own through the season and winter in your home.
Even the most novice gardener should not have a problem growing and using this unique spice in their own home though, because it is a super easy plant to cultivate and care for.
Here are a few tips that I have learned to grow a successful crop of summer savory every year and how to use it in your own kitchen.
I have tried to grow summer savory at all times of the year, both indoors and out, and in that time I have found that the plants I start mid to late winter, indoors, do best.
All you need is a small pot, some potting soil and seeds of the herb to get started.
Make sure that the pot you choose has holes in the bottom for water to drain out, and keep the soil well watered till the seeds begin germinating.
Once you have seedlings you should water every day, being sure not to over water and watch that the soil is never waterlogged or else the seedlings will rot and die.
Caring for Your Plant
Even though I warn about over watering, I have never had a summer savory plant die.
As soon as your plant is established it is a good idea to harden it right away if you plan on moving it outdoors as soon as summer arrives. In the beginning a couple hours is enough, increasing the length of time as the weather warms up.
Because I use it so much I usually keep a one growing indoors year round, in a very sunny location, and another in a pot or my herb garden.
Because summer savory is an annual. I like to let them grow without any pruning or trimming, aside from what I gather to use in my kitchen.
When the vegetation shows signs of dying in the fall, collect the seeds so that you have something to sow and add to your kitchen garden the following year.
I have also found that when left alone, the herb will reseed itself, but usually not where I want it to.
Harvesting and Using
As soon as you begin to get growth on your plant it is ready to harvest and use. I like to let the plant fill in enough so that I can harvest several leaves for cooking, but leave enough of the leaves so that my harvesting is not too noticeable and so it doesn’t hamper further growth.
Summer savory plants are best used right away, but I have stored them in the fridge for extended periods of time without them losing too much of their zesty flavor.
Harvest by snipping off the longest stems and then by pinching off all the leaves.
The leaves can be added to several meat and soup dishes, vegetables and salads. Because of the slightly sharp flavor it adds a lot to every dish that you use it in.
I especially love adding the leaves to summer soups, like gazpacho.
You can marinade, rub or grill meat with the herb as well, with poultry being exceptionally good at absorbing the flavor.
Savory can also be tossed into a salad or over vegetables to get a zesty, citrus flavor with every bite.
So tell use, have you ever used savory in your cuisine? Are there any growing tips you may want to share? Give us your tips and tricks for this underrated herb now.