Bushy, woody based perennial has large light green leaves with a very spicy peppery flavor, the strongest of all oreganos. Use fresh or dried leaves in sauces, soups, tomato dishes, and as a seasoning for many Italian recipes. Combines well with thyme, garlic, and parsley.
The best taste for oregano leaves is right before the plant flowers. When you see buds developing, start your harvesting. If allowed to flower, the herb can taste bitter. You can pick for fresh use anytime after the plant reaches 8" in height and continual picking will prevent rapid flowering, but most prefer to use oregano in a dried form. Drying mellows and deepens the flavor and reduces the bitterness. Dry on screens in a warm, dry place. Test for dryness by crushing a leaf between your thumb and finger. It should have a crispy, crackly sound and feel. Remove the leaves from the stems and store in glass jars. Crush the leaves before adding it to recipes.
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