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How To Cook With Fresh Herbs

Have you heard of oregano? It’s a popular herb with a sweet and aromatic flavour which is widely used in Italian and Greek cooking. If you’re thinking of using this delicious herb in your cooking, here is more information and some top tips on using it.

Fresh versus dry

In most cases, you will hear that it’s better to use fresh herbs. However, due to the high oil content in it’s available in both fresh and dried forms with the latter being most common in the UK. It’s important to remember that the flavour is much more concentrated when dry. This means that you should use around half of that recommended in recipes if using the dried herb.

Storage

Oregano is a store-cupboard essential and is often found lurking at the back of kitchen cupboards up and down the country. However if you want maximum flavour, oregano should only be kept for a maximum of six months.

Cooking

It is recommended that you add dried oregano to dishes towards the end of cooking because it can become bitter if overcooked. It’s important that you use the right amount of dried oregano as too much will give your food a harsh medicinal flavour. Before adding oregano to your delicious goods, roll it between your fingers to release the oils and give your meal even more flavour. Oregano can turn the simplest of dishes, such as cheese on toast or an omelette, into tasty meals.

Recipes

Although it’s particularly popular in both Italian and Greek cuisine, oregano can be used in a huge variety of foods. If you’re looking to experiment with this fantastic flavoursome herb, here are some great recipes.

Spaghetti Bolognese: this dish has managed to become a British classic over the years but you can return to its Italian roots by adding a couple of teaspoons of dried oregano to the sauce a few minutes before serving.

• Margherita pizza: if you’re making pizzas at home, why not give your usual cheese topping a boost with a sprinkling of dried oregano. Don’t put it on straight away but just add a little to the cheese a couple of minutes before it’s done.

• Greek salad: chop up lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, onion, feta and tomatoes. Throw in some olives and stir in a little olive oil and white wine vinegar. Then give your salad a lift with a sprinkling of oregano over the top of the crisp green leaves. These are just a few examples of how you can use oregano in your cooking or you could even add it to the dishes you already cook for extra flavour.

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