Extraordinary Oregano

April 4, 2013

I have a rather vigorous patch of oregano that’s been a staple in my garden for years. Ever so often I dig up a clump to pass on to friends who want an easy-to-grow herb that will come in handy in their kitchens.
Oregano is a common seasoning in Spanish, Mediterranean and Italian dishes. But did you know that it’s also a rich source of vitamin K, iron, fiber, anti-oxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and has anti-bacterial properties? Taste notwithstanding, those qualities alone are enough to make you consider adding more to your cooking and diet.
Dried oregano is popular and convenient for cooking, but keep in mind, the dried version lacks the anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties of fresh oregano.
Here’s a great recipe for an Argentinian chimichurri sauce with fresh oregano. It’s delicious on grilled meats.

• 1 cup water
• 1 tbs. coarse salt
• 1 head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
• 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
• 1 cup fresh oregano leaves
• 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt, and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Mince the garlic finely, and put in a medium bowl.
(1) Mince the parsley and oregano, and add to the garlic, along with the red-pepper flakes.
(2) Whisk in the red-wine vinegar, then the olive oil. Whisk in the salted water.
(3) Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and keep in the refrigerator. Let the flavors mingle for at least a day, and serve with grilled meats. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


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