Punchy yet earthy oregano vinaigrette is easy to make and handy to have in the fridge ready to go for your everyday salads.
What is Oregano?
A perennial herb that belongs to the mint family, oregano is a small plant with purple flowers and olive green leaves. Originating from Greece, it is a staple herb in Mediterranean cooking and also used widely in Mexican cuisine.
Many of us will associate oregano as the “pizza herb” as it is often sprinkled over the top of large pizza slices.
Oregano is often confused with its close relative marjoram as it is also known as wild marjoram. They do have similar appearances, but they are quite different in taste. Marjoram is more delicate and sweeter than oregano. It is also not as pungent as oregano.
Oregano: Fresh vs Dried
Dried oregano is the more common version used in cooking. Sold in brown-green, crushed flakes, most people prefer this version as it is more subtle and has an aromatic fragrance to it. Dried oregano compliments with dominating other ingredients.
You can use dried oregano in pasta, pizza, marinades, sauces, stews and salad dressings. It adds a subtle earthy flavour with a hint of mint to the dish.
Fresh oregano, on the other hand, has a more intense aroma and a strong woody flavour. Too much fresh oregano can make the dish bitter.
Therefore it is used more as a seasoning and then discarded before eating. For example, you can add sprigs of fresh oregano to roast chicken or roast fish but remove it before serving.
Another great use of fresh oregano is to infuse oils or to add flavouring to marinated cheese. We want the earthy notes but not the bitter taste when you eat fresh oregano.
Inspired by the traditional Greek Salad dressing, this oregano vinaigrette would suit most green salads, especially cucumber and tomato combinations.
The red wine vinegar adds extra zing but still balanced with a subtle aromatic herb of oregano. You can even try drizzling it over roast vegetables or leftover roast lamb salad.
Extra Virgin Olive oil: To compensate for the acidity in the red wine vinegar and earthy flavours of oregano, I chose to use extra virgin olive oil. The peppery flavour will act as a counterbalance for the other two.
Red wine vinegar: A great multipurpose vinegar to have in the pantry. Made from red wine, it is possibly one of the more punchy vinegars. The acidity levels are higher and are great to make zingy vinaigrettes.
Dried oregano: A staple in our herb rack as I love adding dried oregano to pasta sauces and marinating lamb roasts. Oregano adds a subtle yet earthy flavouring to dishes. Quintessential in Mediterranean cooking.
Salt and pepper: To taste
In a mason jar, add extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano and salt and pepper and shake until combined.
Best Salad for This Dressing
This is a cucumber and tomato salad but it ain’t boring! Mix in tangy tamarillo, aromatic basil, creamy crumbled goat cheese and top with toasted panko breadcrumbs, you have a tasty salad worth sharing.
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- In a mason jar, add extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano and salt and pepper and shake until combined.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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