How do you use native oregano?

Answered by Michael Wilson

When it comes to using native oregano, the possibilities are endless. This herb has a strong aroma and unique flavor profile that sets it apart from common oregano. Its taste is less sweet and more earthy, with a hint of citrus. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of this wonderful herb in your culinary adventures:

1. Salads: Native oregano can add a burst of flavor to your salads. Simply sprinkle some fresh leaves over your greens to give them a distinctive and aromatic touch. You can also chop the leaves finely and mix them into your salad dressings for an extra punch.

2. Savory meat dishes: Native oregano pairs beautifully with various meats, such as chicken, pork, or lamb. Whether you’re grilling, roasting, or sautéing, adding a sprinkle of this herb can take your dish to the next level. Create a marinade by combining native oregano with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and your choice of spices for a delicious flavor infusion.

3. Sauces: Native oregano can be a key ingredient in sauces, adding depth and complexity to the flavors. Whether you’re making a tomato-based pasta sauce, a marinara, or a hearty ragu, consider incorporating this herb for a unique twist. It works particularly well with Mediterranean and Italian-inspired dishes.

4. Herbal tisane: Native oregano can also be used to make a fragrant herbal tisane or tea. Steep a few sprigs of fresh oregano in hot water for a few minutes, then strain and enjoy. This herbal infusion has a soothing and refreshing quality, making it perfect for relaxation or as a digestive aid after a meal.

5. Infused oils and vinegars: Another way to utilize native oregano is by infusing it into oils or vinegars. This process involves steeping the herb in the liquid of your choice for a period of time, allowing the flavors to meld together. The resulting infused oil or vinegar can be used in dressings, marinades, or as a drizzle over cooked dishes.

6. Drying and preserving: If you have an abundance of native oregano, you can dry the leaves and store them for future use. Simply hang the sprigs upside down in a cool, dry place until they are completely dry. Once dried, remove the leaves from the stems and store them in an airtight container. Dried native oregano can be used in cooking and will retain much of its flavor.

Remember, the flavor of native oregano can be quite potent, so it’s best to start with a small amount and adjust to your taste preferences. Whether you’re using it as a seasoning, garnish, or infusion, native oregano is a versatile herb that can elevate the taste of your dishes. So, get creative and experiment with this unique herb in your cooking adventures!