So when someone offered me some salad burnet seeds, I was thrilled. I didn’t know what the herb was for, but I reckoned it would be good just going by its name.
I mean, how can anything with a name like ‘salad burnet’ be anything but nice? I envisioned a fresh tasty salad as I planted the seeds.
And soon I had a clump of the Mediterranean herb. Strange that I could be so proud of a clump of herbs, but I was. I loved how it looked; a handsome rosette with gently arching stems of small serrated leaves.
I couldn’t even bear to use it in salads or sandwiches but picked a leaf every now and then just to get its fresh cucumber taste.
I should have put the herb to good use, because I lost the plant about a year later. Maybe the herb felt underutilized. That was more than five years ago but there was no use crying over it. I never found a replacement – until three weeks ago.
This typical gardener almost blubbered with joy at the sight of a pot of salad burnet at a garden centre. It beckoned … and all rational thought left me. I even forgot its name for a while. There was only one amidst all the other herbs.
I bought a bunch of other herbs as well, but they paled beside the salad burnet. Since then I have already used it in my sauces and salads – I’m not about to make the same mistake again.
And while we’re on the subject of herbs, don’t you think that the name ‘summer savory’ has a nice ring to it?
Culinary herb: Young leaves can be added to dips, salads and sandwiches for a fresh cucumber taste; a parsley substitute
Herbal qualities: used to cure diarrhoea; aids digestion; tones and refines the skin; rich in vitamins
Care and propagation: Partial to full sun, well drained soil, water moderately. To propagate, divide clump or sow seeds.