There are signs of spring everywhere, mating geese, nesting hawks, buried bulbs breaking out of the ground, but winter isn’t over yet. Before making a commitment to the inevitable, I still want to talk about herbs in winter. I’ve enjoyed seeing my evergreen herbs in the garden these past few months, and also their special qualities when I use them in the kitchen. I talked about the thyme, chamomile, lavender, parsley already. Oregano is a very companionable herb that stays a bright, happy green all winter long.
After flowering in summer time I usually cut back the long dry stems of oregano. What remains all winter are the evergreen leaves. They don’t send off new shoots again until spring, but their color never fades. I keep dried oregano in my kitchen, but it is downright therapeutic (for me) to pick fresh oregano leaves from my kitchen box, and to inhale deeply when I chop them up. It has a sharp, stimulating scent, part of the mint family.
I use oregano in tomato sauce, with ground turkey, and almost any kind of beans. I guess you could say whenever I cook Italian or Mexican influenced food.