Oregano has soft, furry, grey-green oval leaves. The flavour is sweet, floral and aromatic with a bold, zesty lemon and pepper character.
Oregano makes a classic match with garlic and tomato, and is commonly used in sauces for pizza and pasta. It combines attractively with lemon, vinegar, fish, eggs, marinades, soups, cheese, summer vegetables, chilli beans, grilled meats and hearty stews. It is best added towards the end of cooking to preserve its flavour.
Oregano oil is a popular anti-septic, taken for digestive infections or used on the skin. It contains anti-oxidant compounds that are a useful aid to general health and increased energy.
Store in the fridge in the vegetable drawer in original punnet. Use within two days of opening. It can also be frozen by roughly chopping and placing in a zip-lock bag, as is or with olive oil added. Flatten the contents of the bag to make it easy to break into portions. Freeze overnight. An ice cube tray can also be used by pouring a little water or olive oil over the chopped herbs inside the tray
Culture and History
Oregano is native to the Mediterranean and has been used extensively for its aromatic culinary and medicinal qualities. It was a symbol of joy in ancient Greece, used at weddings to wish peace and happiness for the newlyweds. The name means 'joy of the mountains'.