Oregano is called for in a variety of Mexican, Italian and roasting recipes. Cooking with fresh oregano calls for a slightly different approach than cooking with the herb when it is dried, however. Understand how to use the herb in its fresh form to get the most from your dishes, and also to enhance your health. Oregano in any form can act as an anti-inflammatory. In addition, it has properties that may alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, according to a study published in the December 2008 "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."
Measure carefully. Fresh oregano is less concentrated than its dried counterpart. If you are substituting fresh oregano in a recipe that calls for dried, either double or triple the amount of the herb you use to ensure that it imparts the desired flavor.
Use fresh oregano with seafood. While dried oregano is often used to cook sauces and roasts, fresh oregano is most often added as a seasoning sprinkled on top of fish or pasta dishes.
Add fresh oregano as a substitute for marjoram, if necessary. The Food Network's "Guide to Fresh Herbs" suggests that the spicy, peppery flavor of fresh oregano is a reasonable substitute for marjoram if you are in the midst of cooking and discover your supply of marjoram is depleted.
- "Medical News Today"; Ingredient In Oregano Effective Against Inflammations; June 2008
- "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry"; Oregano: a Source for Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor Gamma Antagonists; Mueller et al.; December 2008
- National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service; Oregano; Katharine Adam; March 2011
- Food Network: Guide to Fresh Herbs