Oregano is a popular herb used in many cuisines. It has a full and aromatic flavour that can be a little bitter. This herb tends to have more flavour when dried as opposed to fresh.
There are many different countries that have Oregano in their cuisines. It is very common in Mediterranean areas where it is used in a lot of different ways. It is also great to blend with other herbs and spices giving fantastic flavours. And is a favourite in pizzas and bolognese sauce.
Antioxidants- This herb has high levels of antioxidants, which help to combat damage from harmful free radicals found in the body. From studies cancer and heart disease has been linked to free radicals.
Anti cancer- According to studies some of the compounds in this herb may have anti cancer properties. There has been evidence that extracts may prevent damage to DNA in cells. This can be caused by oxidative stress, radiation and mitogens, these are types of proteins that that are linked to unwanted cell division.
Vitamins- C, B6, E, K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folates.
Minerals- Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese.
Dried Oregano is readily available online. I prefer to buy it this way as it is one of those herbs that keeps a strong flavour and aroma when dried. It also has a good shelf life. Other benefits of buying this way are that you get that handy jar/bottle that normally fits into your spice rack and its delivered to your door.
Cooking with oregano is great as there are so many dishes you can use it in. I really enjoy tomato sauce made with Oregano as the main seasoning. This can be added to pasta with some parmesan cheese, making a tasty simple meal.
I once went to Greece and was amazed by how delicious a Greek salad is. The lovely fresh salad vegetables flavoured with Oregano and the wonderful taste of feta cheese. Add to that some fresh, crusty bread to mop up those juices with the extra virgin olive oil. It is absolutely delicious!
So this is my version of this salad using fresh salad vegetables and feta cheese, both normally available from the supermarket.
Serves 4 people
200 grams baby plum tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes) halved.
1/2 a cucumber skinned, sliced length ways into quarters and chopped.
1/2 a red onion finely sliced.
100 grams of pitted black olives halved.
100 grams of Feta cheese cubed.
6 x tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
1 x table spoon of dried Oregano.
1 x tablespoon of dried basil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Take a large mixing bowl and add to it the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, black olives and the extra virgin olive oil. Toss it all together.
Add the dried oregano and basil and mix it in, then add the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Finally add the cubed feta cheese into the mix. Lightly toss it in and serve with some fresh bread.