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Winter savory (Satureja montana) is a perennial semi-woody herb of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. A native of Southern Europe it grows to about 50 cm tall and bears opposite leaves on the growing parts of the stalks. It is easy to grow, but requires a well-drained soil and direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.
Small white flowers appear in summer, and a light prune is advised after these have faded to keep the plant neat.
The fresh leaves have a strong spicy flavour and make an excellent accompaniment with bean stews and with meats, working especially well as a flavouring for chicken or turkey. The strong flavour of the leaves becoome much milder under prolongued cooking so to keep the flavour add the herb near the end of cooking. Chopped winter savory makes an excellent addition to yorkshire pudding batters lifting the flavour of the dish. As a result it works wonderfully in toad-in-the-hole.
In modern times this herb is little used but for centuries it used to be a staple of many herb gardens. The truth is that it is so easy to grow and has a wonderful distinct flavour so there is no reason for you not to introduce it into your own garden.