This month we will explore oregano’s potential to enhance human health, while at the same time tasting a sampling of delicious recipes that make use of it.
Oregano is an excellent source of antioxidants including carvacrol, thymol, and rosmarinic acid.
Rosmarinic acid is known for its antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It has been studied in a wide variety of disease models including Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, and cancer.
The recipe below was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are
-Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Greek Lemon Herbed Potatoes
- 1 pound baby potatoes (more waxy types of potatoes [red or yellow] seem to work best, since they hold together better. Look for potatoes that are about 1½ to 2 inches in diameter)
- 2 lemons, juice and zest (Meyer lemons are preferred)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
- Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. (If your oven has a convection setting, preheat to 415°F.)
- Put the potatoes into a saucepan, add water to cover by 3 inches, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for about 6 minutes, until tender. (This may only be long enough for the smallest potatoes. Instead, cook the potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a knife, but don’t overcook them. The total cooking time may be 20–30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.) Drain the potatoes, blot with a towel, and spread on a rimmed sheet pan. Let cool slightly, then smash each potato with the palm of your hand until flattened but still in one piece. (This is kind of messy, so you could use a towel or a flat metal utensil. The potatoes can be made ahead to this point and stored lightly covered in the refrigerator for ~8 hours.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, oil, and oregano, and pour the mixture over each potato. Lift or turn the potatoes over to make sure they are coated on both sides. Generously sprinkle with sea salt. Roast the potatoes for 25–30 minutes, until browned and crisp.
- Serve immediately.
Note: This is a variation of the popular smashed potatoes recipe that was making the rounds a few years ago. Lemon is unexpectedly fabulous with roasted potatoes or bread.
From: Citrus, Valerie Aikman-Smith & Victoria Pearson (2015)