More herbs: Oregano and sage

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Puttanesca Pasta

Oregano tips: Use half the amount of dried as you would fresh - add to the end of cooking for better flavour. Add oregano to olive oil to infuse it or make an easy sauce with melted butter, oregano and lemon juice and drizzle over roasted vegetables and grilled meat/fish.


What does it taste like? Oregano has a warm, 'balsamic' and quite pungent taste. It's related to marjoram but they're not the same.
What dishes can it be used in? Best known as the herb sprinkled on Italian pizzas, oregano is also found in Greek and Mexican cuisine. It's also delicious in soups (especially tomato soup), pasta and stews, and it goes well with tomato, egg and cheese-based dishes.
Health benefits: High in fibre, calcium and vitamins A and C, oregano is supposedly a better antioxidant than apples and blueberries. It also helps digestion and is often used with pulses, beans and cabbage - foods which give you wind!
Oregano tips: Oregano has a high oil content so it keeps its flavour and aroma when dried. If you're using dried oregano instead of fresh, just halve the quantity.
Try these recipes:
Veg and ricotta pizza
Courgette frittata
Puttanesca pasta (pictured)


What does it taste like? Common sage is a strong aromatic herb with a slightly bitter or 'woody' taste. You can cook it for longer than other herbs and it still keeps its flavour.
What dishes can it be used in? Sage is often used to flavour veal chops and other meats, as well as to make sage butter and sage and onion stuffing. Shred the leaves and add to Mediterranean dishes like risotto, add chopped sage over potatoes, or use instead of rosemary in Italian focaccia bread.
Health benefits: Sage can help to calm nerves, improve digestion and ease coughs. High in antioxidants, it's also said to help allergies. Mix with hot water and you can gargle it to reduce bad breath or soothe a sore throat.
Sage tips: Sage is delicious with cheese. Add chopped leaves to macaroni cheese, a cheese omelette or a mozzarella tomato salad. With whole leaves, top a chicken fillet with sage, wrap in prosciutto ham and pan-fry. Dried sage is a good substitute for fresh - about 1tbsp fresh equals 1tsp dried.
Try these recipes:
Sage and onion stuffing
Gordon Ramsay's stuffed chicken breast

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