Pungent Oregano

Did you know that oregano was Herb of the Year in 2005?
Origanum vulgare self-sows, gets weedy and lacks flavour, but it’s just fine for herb wreaths.

O. heracleoticum, a.k.a. Greek oregano, is hotter and more pungent. Oregano likes well-drained, lean soil and sun. The more sun, the more pungent the flavour. Plants lose zest after a year or two, so start new ones annually. The texture of dried oregano works better than fresh: harvest it in summer as the flower buds begin to open, then hang to dry. Use this great recipe for “Arlene’s Dressing,” as a way to enjoy this herb on greens, steamed veggies and pasta salads.

1⁄4 cup (60 mL) cider vinegar
2⁄3 cup (150 mL) olive oil
1 tsp. (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1⁄4 tsp. (2 mL) each sugar, salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. (5 mL) dried oregano