In the herb corner: This year I am writing about some of our herbs. As the varieties at the end of the alphabet can sometimes get overlooked so I started there and am working backwards! This month I have reached...
OREGANO I read the other day that oregano is known as the pizza herb. For one of the most widely used herbs in the world this seems a rather narrow name to extol its virtue and yet it was almost unused in America until returning soldiers raised the profile of pizza and oregano sales rose by over 5000% between 1948 and 1956!
So although it can be thought of as the quintessential pizza herb oregano can and should be used with many other dishes. Use it to add a lift to all tomato sauces (don’t forget tomato soup, oh and carrot and pumpkin soup too!). I like it with lamb as an alternative to rosemary – sprinkled over chops or added to stuffing. Nowadays stuffing a joint is out of favour but a bunch of oregano in the cavity of your roasting bird will impart flavour without worry. I am told that oregano goes well with fish, cheese and egg dishes but I will be honest and say I have yet to have found time to try this out thoroughly for myself so if you can let me know….
I am not sure how much oregano you might need to eat but it is thought that the low incidence of heart disease in Greece may partly be explained by the prolific use of oregano in cooking.
As with other herbs you get the best flavours by adding towards the end of cooking. If you dry oregano leaves then just crush them in your hands when you add them.
Gather leaves whenever they are available to use when fresh. You can dry or freeze leaves to store them. The can also be used to make flavoured oils and vinegars.
By the way I much prefer another name for oregano from the Greek oros meaning mountain and ganos meaning joy: hence ‘ joy of the mountain’
We supply 50 seeds for just 50p