The herb savory carries a bold, peppery flavor. It comes in both summer and winter varieties. Summer savory is an annual featuring bushy stems and branching roots. The whole plant is fragrant. The herb is best preserved at peak freshness in vinegar.
Winter savory is a semi-evergreen perennial. The plant stems from a woody base into a bush. Winter savory's aroma is more pungent than summer savory's. The best preservation method for winter savory is drying the leaves.
Historically, the herb came out of Italy, later becoming popular in the rest of Europe. Savory was convenient for masking unappetizing flavors or aromas from food starting to spoil.
Cooks now use the herb to flavor casseroles, beans, lentils, soups and stews. Summer savory is light enough to complement egg dishes and green beans, while winter savory is more appropriate for sturdier dishes. Thyme, marjoram or sage are adequate substitutes for recipes calling for savory.
Savory seasoning blends are very popular. Many come premade, but it's possible to make them at home. To make a savory seasoning, mix 4 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons dried sage, 1 tablespoon dried rosemary and 1 tablespoon dried marjoram. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder.Learn more about Cooking