Have fresh oregano - need your recipes
One of my favorite things to eat: on croutons or just slathered on a piece of toasted french bread. If you have to use a substandard tomato, chop and salt it and let it stand with a drizzle of olive oil for a little bit. This is one of those dishes where the sum is greater that the parts.
Peel seed and chop a large ripe tomato. Take a block of feta cheese and crumble it onto the tomato. Add a finely minced clove of garlic or two. Add a drizzle of olive oil, cracked black pepper and freshly chopped oregano. Coarsly mash (not till completely smooth.) chill 1/2 hour.
I love fresh oregano sauteed with wild mushrooms.
I once had more fresh herbs than I knew what to do with (sage, thyme, oregano...as well as lots of hot peppers), and I improvised a spicy fresh herb marinade for grilled chicken breasts that could have been a disaster but actually proved to be very tasty. I threw the fresh herb leaves in the food processor with a scotch bonnet pepper, some fresh garlic, olive oil, sea salt and lime juice and pulsed it just until everything had combined but not turned into a paste. I put a big slathered on coating of the herb mixture on top of my chicken breasts, let it all sit at room temp for a half hour and grilled. Surprisingly delicious.
Try this, I did it with Basil and it was phenamonal!!
The technique for making infused oil is much the same whether the ingredient is basil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, chiles, mushrooms or citrus fruit. For every cup of olive oil, use two tightly packed cups of basil or any other soft-leaved green herb--chervil, chives, cilantro, mint. (Tarragon does not work well except early in the spring when it is very sweet, he writes. Otherwise it tends to taste bitter when infused.) Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the herbs, making sure that the leaves are submerged, and blanch for five seconds. Drain into a strainer and immediately plunge the herbs into a bowl of ice water. Drain well and squeeze out all liquid. Puree in a blender with olive oil. Strain puree immediately through a fine-mesh strainer. Strain again through four layers of cheesecloth. Put in a sterilized glass bottle, cover tightly and refrigerate. For optimum flavor, use within a week.
Chiarello recommends using a blender, which makes a finer, smoother puree and extracts more flavor than a food processor. To filter the mixture, he uses cheesecloth, which he first rinses and squeezes dry. Coffee filters can also be used, although they, too, should be rinsed and squeezed dry first. Patience is required. Pour the oil slowly, and stir occasionally. You will probably need several filters.
You can use the infused oil in, among other things, the following recipe for a vinaigrette, which tastes as good on chicken or roasted eggplant as on a green salad.
My mom also told me another trick that worked really well. Fill a mason jar with as many leaves as you can fit or want to fit. Fill jar with olive oil and cover with cheesecloth (I've also used plastic wrap with holes punched in the top). Leave it sit in a sunny window for 10 days, rotate the jar every few days. Strain the oil thru cheesecloth and enjoy a flaroful oil on pasta, salads, mardinades and basic cooking!
my favorite oregano recipe, other than a good tomato-oregano salad, is the following lemon-chicken recipe:
-add skin-on chicken parts to baking dish, add potato cubes
cover with fresh oregano, chopped garlic, and juice of roughly one lemon per 4 pieces of chicken. slice up as many lemons as you like and add to the chicken potato mixture. add enough olive oil to lightly coat everything, and turn the chicken and potatoes once so that they are coated evenly in the oil mixture.
bake at 375 for 1hr -1hr 15 min.