How to substitute fresh oregano for dried

From   |  July 13, 2009
In Kitchen Basics

The standard fresh herb conversion for recipes is 3 teapoons fresh for every 1 teaspoon dried. This is the perfect balance for fresh oregano - not too much and overpowering for the other flavors in a dish or too little and hardly worth the effort. My oregano is fairly taking over my small garden space, so I find myself mixing in fresh in every recipe I make this summer. For recipes that call for dried Italian seasoning, I add the full amount of dried (because of the additional flavors in the mix) and add an additional 2 teaspons of fresh oregano.  Stir fresh oregano into any Italian sauce, top homemade pizza, sear fresh oregano on pork tenderloin or mix into softened butter for a delicious herb bread spread. Most often I add to taste, but when I feel the need to be exact the 1 to 3 rule always works. How do you use fresh oregano?


From Maria M. - July 13, 2009

Speaking of oregano, I have a couple of questions. Do you use the Italian or Mexicano oregano? Can one be used in place of the other?

From Alicia Ross - July 14, 2009

I prefer Italian Oregano. Only because it has a more delicate, sweeter flavor. If you like the more pungent Mexican variety, you certainly can use it and I don't see why each one couldn't be substituted for the other in recipes. As with most herbs and spices, it's more a matter of preference than anything else. If you use Mexican oregano in a classically Italian sauce, I promise not to call the gourmet police!

From Alicia Ross - July 14, 2009

The photo is definitely a close-up (I think the little "fuzz" on the new leaves is so cool....). Oregano leaves (both Italian, Mexican and other varieties) are part of the Mint family. The leaves are 1/2 to 3/4 inch long when mature. The plant stem can grow as tall as a foot or more depending on your region. If you are not sure which herb is which in your garden, crush a few leaves between your fingers and smell them. Oregano definitely has the scent most of us relate to a fresh pizza sauce. (Mexican oregano has a sharp, more pungent smell.)

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