Thank our World War II soldiers for oregano. When American soldiers returned from the war they were in a buzz about the lovely herb found on the hills of Italy. Related to the mint family, oregano is similar to but stronger in flavor than marjoram.

Common uses are in pasta sauces, sprinkled atop pizza, and as an Italian seasoning for meats and poultry. And of course, paired with fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, this herb is sensational. Unlike most other herbs, fresh oregano is a rugged herb that holds up well in long-simmered sauces and stews.

Try wrapping fresh oregano springs around skewers before skewering meat, or throw a swag of oregano on the coals to flavor grilled meats or chicken. Oregano is also a popular component in flavored vinegar. Used dried oregano to season sauces, stews, and pizza. Dried oregano makes an excellent rub.

Oregano is incredibly easy to grow, but like mint, it can be invasive, so keep an eye on it. Oregano’s beautiful lavender flowers are a wonderful addition to salads, and make an excellent garnish.

Fresh oregano is usually available at nicer grocery stores. Dried Mediterranean or Greek oregano is the most abundant, while Mexican oregano is much stronger in flavor and harder to find.

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