Oregano has many uses, adds great flavor

img_3856After a little break, let’s get back to some more herbs.

This week I want to look at oregano.

There are so many uses for this herb – especially if you love Italian food as much as I do.
Of course, it is good to add to your spaghetti sauce, but here are some other uses as well.

Homemade pizza dough is a favorite recipe that I have created from combining and altering several dough recipes. This makes homemade pizza better than any other, and it uses a lot of herbs from the garden.

Pizza Dough
1 cup warm water
3 T. olive oil
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cilantro (or crushed corriander)
1 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast

Add ingredients in order to your bread machine and select the dough cycle. After finished, remove dough, cover and let rise 30 minutes. Divide in half and roll out.
Tip: Put cornmeal on your pizza pan before laying the pizza dough on so it doesn’t stick.
Create your pizza, cook and enjoy!

As long as we’re in the Italian mode, I always like some bread and dipping oil with meals.
Dipping oil can be expensive though, so I thought, why not make some? I started mixing some herbs until I got a flavor I liked. Here it is.

Dipping Oil Mix
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. dried crushed rosemary
1 T. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 T. parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp.
pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in a jar. To use, sprinkle some onto a saucer and add olive oil.

Here’s one more good winter recipe just for fun. And yes, it has oregano, too.

Dutch Oven White Chili
1 16 oz. bag Great Northern Beans
3 cans chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 turkey creak, cooked and shredded
2 jalapenoes, chopped
2 poblano peppers, chopped

After beans have soaked, then been simmering according to instructions for one hour, take preheated Dutch oven out of 350 degree oven and add all ingredients except beans. Put back in oven for 30 minutes. Then add drained beans to Dutch oven, stir and cook for one hour at 350 degrees. Serve topped with Monterey Jack cheese.

Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!

Julie Clements is a Butler County Master Gardener.
Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at julieclements75@gmail.com and some will be featured in upcoming columns.

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