Herb of the Month: Oregano

The Culinary Use of Herbs

Oregano, also known as its latin name, Origanum spp, is a much used and loved culinary herb.  Found in pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, italian dressing or on sauteed or grilled veggies.  Oregano has several species (this is the second part of the latin name that distinguishes it).  For example, Origanum vulgare is known as common oregano and is native to the Mediterranean.  Sweet marjoram, Origanum marjorana, not to be confused with common oregano, is considered common oregano's close relative.  Marjoram is sweeter and is less tolerant of cold temperatures.  Oregano is easy to grow!  Here, I sowed seeds of Origanum heracleoticum,  True Greek oregano, in a small container with Black Gold's Organic Potting Soil two months ago.  True Greek oregano is highly aromatic and flavorful prized by Italian and Greek chefs.

Medicinally, oregano is a fantastic anti-microbial!  I recommend it to my patients as an herbal steam when they have an upper respiratory infection and are in discomfort with congestion.  The steam loosens the congestion and the herb discourages microbial growth.

Below is a salad dressing recipe that I use frequently in my kitchen, especially now that the greens in my garden are flourishing.

 

Simple Italian Dressing

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Vinegar (Organic Apple Cider, Balsamic, or Red Wine, your choice)

1 tsp of each, dried: Oregano, Thyme, Basil, and Parsley

1 clove of fresh garlic, pressed

Mix together and pour over your favorite greens.