Oregano is an aromatic plant native to the Mediterranean area. It can be used fresh or dry in foods, salads or as a natural remedy (gastrointestinal or respiratory problems).
The plant likes to grow in places with a lot of sun, but it also can be grown indoor in pots as long as it receives enough light. Oregano needs bright light, so when it is cultivated indoors it should be kept near eastern or southern window (but with filtered light in the afternoon).
It needs to be watered regularly but not excessively; the soil shouldn’t dry out between waterings, but even if it does, this will not cause any harm because oregano is very resistant to drought.
The soil must be aerated, well drained. If needed, use a diluted liquid fertilizer.
Oregano is multiplied by seeds, cuttings or seedlings if you want to have it all the timet.
The organically grown herb seeds germinate hard. A healthy plant will quickly consume the soil from the pot, so it’s possible that it needs to be transfered into a larger pot. Transfer should be done at about 6 months, if needed. The pot needs to have up to 6 inches diameter.
The oregano leaves can be used fresh, but they do not have a very intense flavor, so they have to be dried as the aroma is stronger. They can be stored in sealed jars.
The taste is slightly bitter and the flavor is complex, with a spicy-bitter touch.
At the beginning of autumn, oregano is in full splendor, all good to harvest and laid out to dry. Harvest in nice, warm weather, between morning and midday, after disappearing the last drops of dew.
Cut 9 inch sprigs with scissors or a knife, and let them dry in thin layers, in a well ventilated room. Turn the plants on the other side 2-3 times daily, otherwise they blacken and lose the aroma and healing qualities. Drying mistakes lead to decomposition of the vitamin C, and the loss of nearly all of the essential oil that evaporates pretty quickly.
It can be used successfully, both to flavor oils and vinegars as well as salads.
Its aroma is suitable for any kind of cheese and steak, grilled meat, meat and pasta sauces. Adding it to egg preparations make them more appetizing and digestible.
Butter rubbed with oregano leaves is excellent in combination with boiled fish, rice with scallops or crayfish and sauteed vegetables. It is best associated with broccoli and other green plants, carrots, zucchini, lentils, potatoes and tomatoes.
Together with basil oregano is characteristic to Italian cuisine. Pasta sauce will receive a special taste if you add oregano.
Pizza is the most known oregano dish, which made it famous and universally known.
Moreover, oregano is considered indispensable in Mediterranean cuisine, as in the Mexican one. Its popularity is due to the fact that it enhances the taste of the tomato soup, beans, grilled sirloin, roasted lamb, salads and other shrimp dishes, cooked in typical spicy style of the Mediterranean area.