What is Oregano?
Oregano is an herb originating from the Mediterranean. It is sometimes called wild marjoram and is related to mint. Oregano is grown on a flowering plant and what we eat is the leaves of the plant. It comes either fresh or dried. Fresh oregano has soft, bright green leaves while dried oregano leaves are harder and a greenish-brown color. Oregano has an earthy aroma.
What Does Oregano Taste Like?
Fresh oregano has a strong, earthy taste. Dried oregano leaves have a more subtle earthy flavor.
How Do You Eat Oregano?
Oregano is used in both fresh and dry varieties, depending on the dish and the preferred amount of oregano flavor. It is a staple spice in Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, and Greek spice rubs. Oregano is a common herb in marinara sauces for spaghetti, lasagna, and pizza. It is used in pesto, marinades, and sauces. Oregano is paired with meats such as chicken and salmon, roasted vegetables such as potatoes, and is even used in salads and dressings.
Where Can You Buy Oregano?
Dried oregano is found in the spice aisle of the grocery store. Fresh oregano is often near the other fresh herbs in the produce section of the grocery store. If you cannot find fresh oregano in your grocery store, you can usually find it in farmers markets or other fresh produce stores.
How Do You Store Oregano?
Store dried oregano in a sealed, airtight container, such as its original spice jar, in a cool, dry place. Fresh oregano should be wrapped in a damp paper towel, placed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator.
Fun Fact About Oregano
Oregano has been used to medically treat certain ailments in some countries.
Did You Know?
Oregano is often confused with marjoram, which oregano is related to.
Recipes Using Oregano
Pesto which is typically made with basil is a great way to use an excess of leftover herbs. In a blender or food processor, combine oregano, parmesan, garlic, and almonds, and process until finely chopped. With the processor on, slowly add olive oil until the mixture becomes smooth. Use the pesto as a pizza sauce, use it to season roasted veggies, or to add flavor to sauces for pasta.
Tomato Salad with Fresh Oregano
To make this salad, cut wedges of heirloom tomatoes and red onion and add them to a mixing bowl. Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, a generous amount of fresh and dried oregano, and toss. This pairs well with fresh mozzarella cheese or feta cheese for added creaminess.
Herb Harden Rice Pilaf
In a saucepan, combine garlic, water, butter, rice, and chicken bullion. Season with salt and pepper, let it come to a boil, and lower the heat. Cook the rice until it has absorbed all the liquid and is fork-tender. Fluff the rice with a fork and add chopped oregano and thyme.
Oregano Sweet Potato Fries
Start this recipe by cutting sweet potatoes into french fry shape or wedges. Toss with olive oil, salt, paprika, and oregano. Bake the fries on a baking sheet until tender on the outside and crispy on the inside. Serve with a garlic aioli sauce made with garlic, oil and lemon juice.
Zucchini Pizza Boats with Oregano
Sub pizza crust for zucchini for a healthy take on pizza night. Hollow out the seeds from a lengthwise-cut zucchini half and season with salt and pepper. Top the zucchini with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, olives, onions, and dried oregano. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted and the zucchini is tender. Top with grated parmesan and chili flakes before serving.