Dictionaries and thesauruses are some of the truly incredible accomplishments of humans. We could struggle to describe a sensation, an experience, a taste adequately or we could benefit from our lexicographers’ diligence. For example, to savor is to excite, relish, arouse or otherwise bring gratification to the senses of taste and smell. Wow. Enough said.
Savory, or savoury if you speak the Queen’s English, is a slightly different matter. In some instances, a savory is a pungently, stimulatingly or intensely flavored dish without sweetness. Generally, such dishes are served as main courses, though they have made their presence well known as first courses or appetizers.
In other cases, savory is an herb, one of two, summer savory or winter savory. Winter savory, being the more bitter of the two is much less commonly used. Summer savory, with its pleasant, slightly peppery taste, is often used to flavor eggs, vegetables, meats, stews, soups and is particularly recommended for grilled foods.
Nestlés is said to have once produced a savory ice cream, though I could find no trace of a viable description. There was a late 90s, “post hard core punk rock” song entitled Savory that made the charts. There have long been various unsavory characters that populate aspects of our world. Which I suppose means that the rest of us must be pretty savory.
At last, we come to savory tarts, many and varied as they may be. The classic savory tart is a quiche: Quiche Lorraine, Asparagus Gruyère or a late summer Tomato, Basil and Feta. But Shepard’s Pie is a savory tart of sorts, as is Chicken Pot Pie. Perhaps any one-dish meal in a crust would qualify. However, keeping a terrific chef on a straight, narrow path, classical or otherwise, is decidedly undesirable. Fortunately for us, they seem to agree. It is simply in their nature to tweak, to tinker, to use their classic skills to expand the frontiers of the table. Bravo. Today’s recipe, Savory Lemon Pepper Vegetable Tart, is from one of our market vendors, Kevin MacPherson, of Earth’s Palate. It tastes even better than it looks. Many thanks to Kevin for his generosity in sharing his time, imagination and expertise with us.