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Oregano


Oregano


Author : Ahimbisibwe Jesca

5, Months ago

Oregano

Oregano is a perennial, it doesn’t need to be replanted each year.


Possible growing options

Outdoor garden beds

Gardening containers/planters/pots

Indoors if the container is placed in a very sunnyvwindowsill.


When to harvest

As soon as the woody stems are between 4 and 5 inches tall.


Care

Remove the pink and purple flowers as they appear

Cut the stem close to the ground to maintain a healthy oregano plant.

Cut aerial parts to encourage a bushy habit.

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Culinary uses

Tomato-centric recipes, like pizza and pasta sauce

Olive oil-based dishes

Marinades for lamb, chicken, and beef dishes

Oregano is commonly combined with olive oil to create flavorful oregano oil


How to use it in food

  • Fresh sprigs of oregano can be cut from the plant.
  • Rinse the sprig, pat it dry, then strip the leaves from the stem.
  • Chop the leaves finely before adding them to the dish.

Note: Dried oregano can be added to any dish as well

Fresh oregano is best when used in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Fresh oregano makes a great accompaniment to a pot of beans, a lemony marinade or a simple marinara sauce.

  • Pair oregano with basilgarliconion, or thyme.
  • Whole sprigs of oregano and rosemary can be placed in steamer water for seafood along with a few large leaves of basil. It gives shrimp a lovely herbal flavor.
  • You can even add oregano to canned soups for a little extra flavor during lunch or on one of those lazy dinner nights.
  • Dried oregano can be added to any dish as well. Be sure to crush it between your hands first to make the pieces very fine. ,
  • Its distinct bitter and earthy flavors are a natural pairing with garlic, lemon, fish, tomato sauce, and roasted meat or poultry


Health benefits

People take oregano products by mouth for:

  • Coughs.
  • Asthma.
  • Allergies.
  • Croup.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Painful menstrual cramps.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Urinary tract infections and disorders.


It contains chemicals that help reduce cough and spasms.

It helps digestion by increasing bile flow and fighting against some bacteria, viruses, fungi, intestinal worms, and other parasites.

It helps prevent high blood pressure associated with heart disease.

Oregano tea is great for excessive cough, digestion, insomnia, circulation, and decreases menstrual cramps


How to dry oregano

Oregano is one of the best herbs to dry and enjoy year-round in your favourite foods. There are two methods to drying it depending on the amount of space you have and how much oregano you harvest.


In either case, store the dried oregano in an airtight container. Dried oregano in a sealed container will stay flavorful well into the next growing season.


Flat drying: strip the oregano leaves from the stem and lay them out on a paper towel. Place this tray out of direct sunlight until the leaves are dry. This method is good for small harvests.


Hang to dry: cut long sprigs of oregano and group them into bundles. Tie a rubber band around the end and use it to hang the bunch on a nail or herb drying rack until dry. Once dry, simply strip the leaves from the stem over a large bowl, crush the leaves until they are even in size, and remove any stems.

Hanging is a space saver and a perfect way to dry a large oregano harvest. Depending on the weather, it should take less than two weeks. Don't leave your oregano (or any herbs) hang for too long. They can become too dry, lose flavor, and collect a lot of dust.


Why grow oregano

  • Easy to grow and adds plenty of taste to food.
  • Can easily be dried for long-term storage.
  • Repels common garden pests such as cabbage moth caterpillars, mosquitos, and cucumber beetles.
  • You can further protect oregano from common pests by planting them next to chives, garlic, or onions.
  • Used as an all-around immune booster.
  • Oregano is good for digestion
  • Oregano has antifungal properties
  • Oregano helps with sore throat and cough. Try adding a few drops of oregano oil to a pot of steaming water (make sure it’s been removed from the heat to prevent scalding) and deeply inhale the steam to effectively treat sinus-related symptoms of a cold or flu. You can infuse oregano in honey that can be used for a sore throat or upset stomach, or make a calming oregano tea using either fresh or dried oregano (add oregano-infused honey if desired.)


Lemon and oregano grilled chicken

Prep time15 minutes

Cook time35 minutes

Marinating time2 hours

Total time50 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) whole chicken or chicken pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons  vinegar
  • Juice + zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil for, serving

Instructions

  • 1. If using a whole chicken, remove the chicken giblets. Pat the outside dry. Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down, so that the chicken's back is facing up. Using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, cut closely along either side of the backbone. Remove the bone and discard. Turn the chicken over so the breast is now facing up and press down firmly on the breast and flatten the chicken. Place the chicken in a resealable bag. 

3. In small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest + juice, oregano, thyme, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour the marinade over chicken, rubbing the marinade all over the chickens skin. Seal the bag and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours or preferably overnight. 

4. Preheat an outdoor grill or large grill pan to medium high. 

5. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Grill, breast side down, covered for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken has a nice char, flip and grill another 10-15 minutes. Flip once more and grill until cooked through and the chicken registers 160 degrees f on a thermometer. Let rest 10 minutes. 

6. Serve the chicken with fresh melon, basil and oregano. Enjoy!


Equipment to make the oregano jelly recipe

  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Liquid pectin
  • Water bath canner
  • 8 crystal jelly jars


Prep time15 minutes

Cook time10 minutes

Total time25 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil)
  • 2 cups of water or apple juice (i used water)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups of sugar (white or brown)
  • 1 3 oz pkg of liquid pectin
  • Pinch of salt


Instructions

  • Pick the fresh oregano leaves.
  • Rinse them and drain the water.
  • Tear the leaves into medium-sized pieces and place in a pot.
  • Add 2 cups of water or apple juice.
  • Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Boil for 10 seconds and turn off the heat.
  • Remove the pan from the burner until it is completely cool.
  • Wash half-pint size jelly jars or sterilize in boiling water.
  • Keep jars hot until you're ready to use them.
  • Strain the leaves from the liquid, saving the liquid. Should be about 1 1/2 cups.
  • Pour the liquid into a large cooking pot and add lemon juice and sugar.
  • Bring it to a hard boil and add the liquid pectin.
  • Continue to boil for one minute.
  • Remove from the heat and skim off the foam.
  • Pour hot jelly into hot jars and fill to within 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Wipe the rims and put on the lids tightening lightly.
  • Place in hot water bath canner and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Jelly will keep for about two years.


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