How to Use Oregano in Cooking

Опубликовал Admin
3-10-2016, 00:50
Oregano is often referred to as the "pizza spice" or a Greek herb. It gets these connotations because it grows wild in the mountains of Greece and Italy. In Greek, the word "oregano" means "joy of the mountain." Oregano has tiny, but pungent leaves and is regarded as a very strong herb. When dried, the leaves are considered to be even more pungent. Oregano is widely used in Italian and Greek cooking, but it also grows well in America and the United Kingdom, so it has been adapted for many modern and new recipes. Use oregano in 1 of the following ways or experiment with it in your own soups, stews and sauces. Read more to find out how to use oregano in cooking.


  1. Cut the small leaves from the woody stems with scissors, if you are using fresh oregano. Wash the leaves thoroughly before using them. Take the leaves in your hands and roll them between your palms to crush them and release the natural oils, and them place them in the recipe.
    • If you are creating a "bouquet garni," wash the oregano plant with the leaves on the stems. Tie the oregano to thyme, basil, parsley, rosemary, tarragon and/or bay leaves with a string. Drop it in a stock mixture and allow it to simmer until all the flavors are imparted into the mixture.
    • The term "bouquet garni" means garnished bouquet. It is sometimes sold in a dried mixture in western supermarkets.
  2. Use oregano in pizza and pasta sauces. Oregano pairs very well with tomatoes and other Mediterranean herbs, such as basil. Add the oregano toward the end of the cooking process to help maximize its natural flavor.
    • Experiment by adding 1 tsp. (0.6 g) of fresh oregano or 1 tsp. (0.5 g) of dried oregano to your pasta or pizza sauces. Raise or lower the dose based on your preference.
  3. Add 1/2 tsp. (0.25 g) of dried oregano or 1/2 tsp. (0.3 g) of fresh oregano to a vinaigrette to create an Italian or Greek-style vinaigrette. Serve it on a bed of fresh greens with tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives and feta cheese.
  4. Make a marinade or sauce with other ingredients that pair well with oregano. These include olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, onion, parsley and thyme. They make an excellent marinade for lamb, beef or chicken.
  5. Substitute oregano for marjoram or thyme if you lack those ingredients. Marjoram is a type of oregano and thyme has a similar flavor, so they can be used to almost the same culinary effect.
    • Marjoram is a type of the genus oregano, called origanum majorana. There are more than 50 types of oregano, and all of these plants are part of the mint family. Marjoram tends to have a more subtle flavor, so feel free to use it to replace the stronger taste, if you prefer it.
  6. Add oregano after you sautee or cook broccoli, zucchini, onion, eggplant or cauliflower. You may also want to add it earlier in stewed dishes with these strong-flavored vegetables. Both the vegetable and the herb pair well with olive oil.
  7. Combine Mexican oregano with chile powder in Mexican chile, stews and stewed meats. Mexican oregano has a milder, less bitter, flavor than Greek oregano. Also add oregano with chile when you are creating stewed beans.
  8. Create an appetizer by covering crostini, or toasted bread, with a thin layer of provolone cheese. Sprinkle fresh, diced oregano leaves on top of the cheese and place in the grill or broiler for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  9. Add a small amount of oregano along with basil and other herbs to steamed seafood dishes, such as mussels and clams. It also can be used to marinade and flavor seafood, but you should use it in low amounts because of its somewhat bitter taste.


  • The flowers of the oregano plant can also be eaten in salads. They are purple or pink. They impart a slightly different, but spicy flavor.
  • Turkey is the main supplier of oregano in the world. This variety can be more bitter than the Greek, Italian and Mexican varieties.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Basil
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Chile powder
  • Crostini
  • Provolone cheese
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