Oregano is another pantry essential. It is a savory, warm herb used primarily to bring out the flavor of tomatoes. It’s also great in soups, stews and sauces. It pairs well with basil, especially in spaghetti or pizza sauces. Fresh or dried, whole leaves or ground, oregano gives many dishes a bass note. It’s earthiness is distinct, but not overpowering.

Oregano is easy to grow and spreads quickly. The Greek oregano we grow in our gardens has taken over a 2 foot by 3 foot space in just a couple of years. There’s little danger we’ll run out of it anytime soon.

A beginner recipe using oregano you might want to try is Garlic bread. Buy a loaf of French bread. Slice it in half the long way. Spread room temperature butter on the cut sides, and then sprinkle with about a teaspoon each of garlic powder, dried basil and dried oregano. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes in a 350 degree fahrenheit oven. Eat this as a side with pizza or spaghetti.

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