Greek oregano is prized for its exceptionally pungent flavor and is
generally considered to be the best oregano for use in cooking.
Greek oregano, Origanum vulgare var. hirtum, gives the truest biting, pungent peppery flavor with a hint of
clove and balsam. While the flavor can vary from plant to plant,
this is usually a dependable variety for culinary uses.
Most of us cannot imagine what a pizza would taste like without
oregano, the warm, spicy flavor of oregano is one of the most
familiar herbs used in food dishes. In addition to pizza, Oregano is used in a wide variety of tomato dishes, pastas, salads,
soups, stews, vegetable dishes, breads, Italian and Mexican dishes,
and herb blends. It is usually added near the end of cooking to
preserve the aromatic oils.
It also enhances cheese and egg dishes such as omelets, frittata,
quiches, and flans. It can be added to yeast breads, marinated
veggies, roast peppers, mushrooms, roast and stewed beef, pork,
poultry, game, onions, black beans, zucchini, potatoes, eggplant,
Harvest oregano when the plants are about 6 inches tall. This early
harvest will make the plant branch and become more compact and
sturdy. When harvesting oregano, leave two or three pairs of leaves
on the stem and cut the stem back to just above a leaf axil.
Leaves of oregano may be used fresh, frozen or dried. Best fresh
leaf flavor usually occurs just prior to plant intiating flowering.
Tiny, white to rosy pink flowers appear in loose, terminal or
axillary spikes throughout the summer. Compared to other herbs,
oregano maintains a high quality of flavor when dried. To dry, lay
stems on a screen or tie stems in small bunches and hang small
bunches a warm shady area with good air circulation. Store in a tight-lidded jar
in a dark, cool place. If space permits in the jars, try not to
crush leaves. To freeze for later use lay the whole sprigs of oregano flat on a
baking sheet and freeze for one to two hours. After freezing, store
sprigs in a tightly sealed freezer bag with the air removed. As
needed, remove from the freezer, chop and use immediately.
Oregano prefers a sunny spot; however, in Zone 7 and farther south,
it benefits from a little afternoon shade. It is so named for its
foliage, which is dark green and covered in a fine downy fuzz.
Growing Greek oregano is very easy since it requires little care
and propagates readily. This aromatic, herbaceous plant is compact and grows to about
18-20" tall. Its leaves are hairy, and its flowers small and white.
Oregano plants prefer a light- to medium-rich, well-drained soil.
Good soil drainage is a must and will prevent root rot.
Variety: Greek Vulgare
Bloom Size: NA
Heat Tolerance Zones: 3-10
Sun Exposure: Sun
Price: $4.00 per plant/4" pot OR
3 or more of the same plant $3.75/plant