Winter savory, which you will find in the Culinary Garden, is known mainly for its uses in cooking, though does possess medicinal properties. A member of the mint family, it has a strong, resinous flavor that imparts a peppery bite to foods.
Savory is known as “bean herb” because it complements bean dishes and reduces flatulence. It can be used fresh or dried, and it makes both a great vinegar and a nice tea when harvested at its peak.
Savory can also be used in marinades for meats and to add flavor to salads and vegetables. A common use in the south of France is to marinate goat cheese rounds in olive oil and savory. Tomatoes have a particular affinity for savory, so you might try slipping a bit into your next tomato sauce. Savory combines well with other herbs, such as thyme, marjoram and basil, bringing out each flavor without being overwhelming.
Medicinally, savory is valued for its treating gas and digestive upsets, including colic, diarrhea and indigestion. In addition, its antiseptic and astringent properties make it a good treatment for sore throats, and a poultice of the leaves gives quick relief to insect bites.
—Sara and Christine