Oregano is a woody herb that grows wild in the mountains of Greece and Italy. Its full botanical name, origanum vulgare, means ‘joy of the mountains’. In Greece, oregano is enjoyed sprinkled on salad; in Italy it’s a key ingredient in the classic marinara pizza and commonly enjoyed in tomato sauces.
Unlike most herbs, oregano is as good (and many think better!) dry as it is fresh because its high oil content means it keeps its flavour and aroma. While fresh oregano’s flavour is aggressive and has a taste described as faintly metallic, it can prove to be an excellent flavour infuser. Add fresh leaves to fish before cooking, allow the taste to permeate simmering olive oil or use it when reducing homemade tomato sauce. Just don’t forget to take out the sprigs before eating!
Dry oregano, the more commonly used form of the herb, has a robust flavour kick with a peppery bite. To get the most of dried oregano’s assertive taste, rub it between your fingers – the heat from your fingers will help to release its flavour. Oregano doesn’t just pack a punch in flavour but also in nutritional content. The most antioxidant rich herb, oregano has four times the antioxidant activity of blueberries! Not only that, oregano also contains a substance that reduces inflammation associated with heart disease. Try our Chicken Lazone with Creamy Vermicelli to taste this hearty and healthy little Mediterranean flavour punch in action.