Oregano: the Herb for Everyone


What is Oregano?

Oregano is one of my favorite herbs to use, both fresh and dried, not only because of its wonderful herbaceous flavor, but also because it crosses so many different cuisines. Since it’s a native plant to Europe, Asian, Latin America, and the Mediterranean region, it’s very versatile. This makes it a staple in my house.

Related to mint and wild, or sweet, marjoram, oregano has a warm and slightly bitter flavor. A good quality oregano will numb your tongue, although the cultivars grown in colder climates will not do this. They’re still just as tasty, though.

Health Benefits of Oregano

Besides adding great flavor to your food, oregano also has some nice health benefits.

  • it boosts your immune system by protecting against free radicals
  • it’s antibacterial
  • full of omega-3 fatty acids to protect your heart and balance your cholesterol
  • contains minerals of manganese, calcium, vitamin K, and iron to help your liver detox your body and support your bones
  • has lots of B vitamins to increase your energy

How to Use Oregano

Greek Dressing – create the best Greek salad you’ve ever had

Whisk together:

  • ½ c olive or avocado oil
  • ¼ c red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Let the dressing sit for at least an hour to fully develop its flavor.

Toss over a salad of romaine, cucumber, tomato, olives, and feta cheese.

Chimichurri – a fantastic sauce from Argentina

  • 2 c fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ c fresh oregano leaves
  • ¼ c red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c olive or avocado oil

Blend everything but the oil in a blender or food processor until roughly chopped. Then slowly stream in the oil as the processor runs until everything is incorporated. Let sit for at least an hour.

Put your chimichurri sauce over grilled meats, especially steak, for a bright summery flavor any time of year.

image source: http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/2016/07/marinated-skirt-steak-chimichurri/

Orange and Oregano Salad – something unique and delightful

  • 3 large navel oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 T chopped oregano leaves
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • olive or avocado oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Arrange the orange slices and red onion on a plate. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with oil and vinegar.

image source: https://www.hubbub.co.uk/recipes/orange-red-onion-and-oregano-salad.html

Grab some dried oregano to keep in your spice cabinet and you won’t be sorry. And use it fresh when you’re wanting something brighter.

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