Friday, May 11, 2012

Le' go my Oregano

Oregano is a very pungent and aromatic herb from the Mediterranean Region. There are several species of oregano, but the most common seed available to home growers is Origanum Marjoram (Common Oregano). Oregano loves a warm, dry climate and will grow as a perennial in mediterrenean and other dry climates. It can withstand some cool weather, but it will typically die off if the temperature drops for sustained periods of time. Oregano oil is well renowned for its anti-microbial and health properties due to its key constituents: thymol and carvacrol
                                           Photo of Oregano provided by Hidetsugu Tonomura

Oregano can be grown in the ground or in a pot, but be careful, this herb spreads quickly.

Photo of Groundcover Oregano provided by Mestra Ashara

RECIPE: Fingerling Potatoes with Oregano Pesto
Like many herbs, oregano can be used fresh, dried, or pressed for its oils. In our featured recipe, fresh oregano and other greens are blended together into a lemony, nutty, and fragrant Pesto and tossed with fingerling potatotes.
Photo of Drying Oregano provided by Ian Sommerville

Recipe is from Marquita Farms: Oregano Recipes (
Any kind of potatoes will work in place of the fingerlings. Just cut them up into 2-inch chunks.
2 cups torn spinach leaves
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
2 tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
16 fingerling poatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Combine first 8 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. With food processor on, slowly add oil through food chute; process until well-blended. Set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place potatoes on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Place potatoes in a large bowl; add 1/3 cup pesto, tossing gently to coat.