The best friend of the beans – in the field and in the pot
In September, in Germany also called autumn moon or in Switzerland harvest month, we present this time a representative of the typical kitchen herbs. For almost 40 different species we have chosen the well-known and popular winter savory. Other names (in German) are eel-, wine- or pepper savory. On the one hand, because its spicy note can range from aromatic to peppery to hot, on the other hand, because the evergreen winter variant is still very decorative even in the cold season. But mainly it got its name from the harmony on the field and in the kitchen with the popular legumes.
Its strong, slightly bitter aroma is finer and stronger than that of the well-known annual (summer) savory, but its use is similar. Winter savory has a digestive effect and is therefore very popular as a spice herb in hot and cold cuisine. Its perfect harmony with beans gave it its name and makes it the best seasoning for bean vegetables, soups and salads. Cultivated as a mixed crop next to bean plants, it helps to drive away seed beetles. Due to its stronger aroma, winter savory is used especially for hearty dishes with lamb and fish, but is also refined like its milder relative herb butter and hearty quark dishes as well as carrots, potato or cabbage dishes and tasty mushroom meals. It is also ideal for flavouring vinegar and jams. A special genus is the lemon mountain savory, which can be found in our Kräuterberg’l on the herb snail and can be tasted with pleasure. Its lemony, fresh note is a real enrichment to any herb garden.
The delicate white, blue-violet to pale pink flowers of the mountain savory delight us almost half a year from early summer to late autumn. In the kitchen, however, only the mostly leathery leaves are used, which have to be removed after cooking and should at best be harvested in spring just before flowering. They can then be used immediately fresh, but just as well when dried.
Especially exciting: Mountain savory can be used to produce a pure, essential oil, which some manufacturers of soaps and toothpaste use. It is also suitable for facial care and helps against skin impurities in the facial steam bath.