Monday, October 12, 2009

Summer savoury, or Borsikafű

I think it is the posts on Voer about eating in Hungary that put me on the chicken paprikash route, that ended with a fragrant potful bubbling on the stove as I type. I have never been to Hungary, but did date a man whose Hungarian and otherwise outrageous father managed to cook, in his mid-80s, a very decent paprikash. It's a terribly easy thing to make, but no less delicious for it. And it was winning to see an old man, a bent misogynist, cooking for himself.

Recently, when looking up summer savoury's botanical name, I learned that is a favoured herb in that part of the world, featuring in Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian cooking.

To that end, I collected what remained today of my savoury plants, dried them in the oven on low, and stripped their seeds and leaves to keep as long as I can through a winter of cooking. I'm not much into dried herbs, but I fell in love with this one over the last season and can't wait to include it in another rub for pork ribs, for example.

Hard to photograph because of its small leaves and spread out stems. The seedling pictured above was a self-starter, and my other three plants were also self-sown.

Above, August; below, today.

The apartment smelled wonderfully optimistic while the herb was drying. Seeds below.

I harvested maybe half a cupful.

And a couple of teaspoons went into the paprikash.

Dinner in about an hour. Then if Vince feels like working on more pictures I can watch another episode of The Wire, to which I am addicted. I'm only on the second series, having discovered the first by accident some months ago. The writing and acting and (re)creation of specific Baltimore milieux are something of a revelation.


  1. of my favorite herbs is summer savory.I had some in the garden this summer, but it is now gone too. Even this morning, I found myself at the grocery store BUYING thyme. I had so much in the garden..and it's all gone....

    I have Julia Child's French Onion soup on the stove...and it has to have thyme.....we are waiting for the BIG STORM out here in California.....

    More later,

  2. The Wire is the best crafted series I've ever seen; you have so much excellent watching in store. How about sharing the paprikash recipe?

  3. The Wire gets better and better. Sounds like a lovely evening!

  4. Kary, you really ate all your thyme? :-)It's actually the one herb that keeps going for me, but I have tons of it. Happy storming-riding.

    Ellen, yes, will post recipe. Had to tweak and chart and record...and what you say about craft is right.

    Lisa - yay, fellow Wirers...I can't believe it keeps getting better. the first series blew me away.

  5. Summer savoury is new to me - Susan from 29blackstreet sent me some, saying it was the traditional herb for Nova Scotian fishcakes. And it was delicious. I'll try growing it next year.

  6. This herb is new to me. I am huge on hers and grow so many inside my little town home in icy cold Minnesota! I love to pluck out fresh herbs and cook with them in various ethnic cold and hot dishes. Wonder where I can find seeds to summer savoury. DO you sell seeds?


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