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Oregano - Seeds
Oregano adds a delicious taste of the Mediterranean to any meal. A super versatile herb used in many Italian and Spanish style dishes, especially tomato-based recipes, pizza and pasta, and dishes that use olive oil. Dried leaves can be used to make oregano tea also.
This popular herb highlights the flavours of lamb, pork, chicken and beef dishes, and pairs beautifully with garlic, basil, lemon, onion and thyme in particular. The fresh leaves make a delicious garnish for the finishing touch in many meals. My fave is with veges like egglant, zucchini, cauliflower and roast potatoes (more recipe inspo below). Crush the leaves to release the flavour before adding to your dish.
Even better, Oregano is so easy to grow indoors or out. It's a very hardy herb that's both fast to germinate and to mature. Oregano is also prized for it's natural health benefits. Fresh oregano is packed with antioxidants, a source of fibre, vitamin K and E, iron and manganese, and rich in calcium. Oregano is also a natural pest repellent to plant with veges. Also popular as a tea to help digestion.
About this herb
Variety: Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Popular for: Italian and Spanish dishes, pizza and pasta, meals based on olive oil, with chicken, lamb or beef, paired with garlic, thyme, onion, lemon and basil.
Sow depth: 5mm
Germination in: 8 to 10 days
Mature in: 8 to 12 weeks
When to sow: Outdoors - North Island: Late winter to late summer. South Island: Spring to Late Summer. Indoors - All year round, grow light recommended in winter.
Oregano loves full sun. When growing indoors in winter I'd consider a grow light a must for this sun-bather. Keep pinching back to encourage lots of bushy growth. Best to harvest before they flower and keep harvesting frequently. You can even cut this super hardy herb back nearly to the ground to stimulate fresh growth.
Harvest anytime once your Oregano reaches around 10 to 15cms tall. Harvesting before they flower has a better leaf flavour. You can store oregano leaves whole and frozen until you need them, or they can also be dried and stored in airtight containers.
Oregano is not an annual so will just keep going and going for years if you let it. If growing indoors, you can transplant it outdoors to make room for new herbs. Give it a spot with full sun outdoors. Best grown with a grow light indoors.
Use the leaves to flavour tomato sauces, pizza and pasta, and with marinated vegetables. Delicious with eggs, cheeses, mushrooms, zucchini, potatoes, and eggplant. Use to flavour sews and roasts, especially good with beef, pork, and poultry.
Popular combined with other herbs, including rosemary, sage, parsley and thyme. Pairs beautifully with olives, tomatoes, lemon and garlic. When using dried leaves, add them at the start of cooking. When using fresh leaves, add nearer the end of cooking.
One of my favourite ways to use Oregano is with potatoes. This recipe for Greek slow roast potatoes combines roast potatoes with lemon, garlic and oregano. Simple and delicious.
One on my list to try is this recipe for One pan chicken thighs with burst tomatoes, harissa and feta - and of course, fresh sprigs of oregano - sounds (and looks) amazing. Like a fancy chicken stew!