Tuesday 11 September 2012

Greek Oregano

I love using Oregano in my cooking, especially in its dried from. The flavour and aroma is much more intense than that of the fresh form. I have lots of Oregano in my garden now, so I thought I would try drying some for myself.

The best time to cut Oregano for drying is just as the flowers are beginning to fade. If you cut it before then the stems will be a bit too soft and sappy.

This stem looks ideal. Just a few flowers left, but the seed-pods are very much in evidence.

Avoid ones like this, which is definitely past it.

I cut a large bunch of stems, about 30cm / 1 foot long. It's best to do this on a dry day of course, otherwise the herb may go mouldy before you can preserve it.

I put the stems into a paper bag, flower end first, and then put the bag in the airing-cupboard where I hope the Oregano will dry gently over the next week or ten days. I don't think it is a good idea to dry it too rapidly (in an oven, for instance). The bag is there to collect any leaves and flowers that may fall off during the drying process. Using a permeable paper one allows the air to circulate, whereas a plastic one would just create condensation.

When the Oregano is thoroughly dry I will strip it from the stems, lightly crush it and store it in an airtight container. I'm sure it will soon be paired-up with some of the delicious home-made tomato sauce currently residing in our freezer...


  1. Thanks for this post. Towards the end of every summer I think of drying herbs. Not knowing exactly how has put me off. This looks really simple so I will definitely try at the end of this summer.

  2. What a brilliant idea Mark...think I'll give this a try too...added bonus will be the airing cupboard smelling delicious :-)

  3. I always do my oregano when it just starts to bud. Well my intention is to do it then. I'm never perfect on my timing. I do use a dehydrator as nothing seems to dry well here. We have a lot of humidity.

  4. I've only really started growing herbs this year, I've had the odd one or two before, but I've got a wider variety now but I'm missing oregano, I'll have to get a plant.

  5. I have a pot of oregano, no flowers on it though. I still may cut it down to dry.

  6. Have you ever let some go to seed and they come up again the following year? I have never thought to grow my own since they are quite cheap (dried branches of the stuff, from Sicily I believe) at the markets.

  7. Rowena; I grow the Oregano "herbaceously" - in other words as a perennial that dies down in the Winter, not from seed. I do however occasionally find little tiny seedlings in the raised beds, but whether they are from the Greek Oregano or from the other Marjoram varieties, I can't say. I usually remove these volunteers.


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