Thursday, June 19, 2008

White Flower Challenge - Day 19



Oregano is in the mint family(Lamiaceae); related to basil, sage, lavender and thyme. The tiny white flowers appear between bracts. The bees love them, but don't stay long at each tiny flower, making photos of them difficult.

For the best flavor, one shouldn't allow the plant to flower, but I always do because I like to share with the bees. But I keep one plant trimmed and use that for cooking. Here is one of my favorite recipes that uses oregano. I posted about it in November.

Braised Fennel and White Beans

1 medium fennel (also called anise) bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4" slices (about 3 cups)

1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and cut lengthwise into 1/4" slices (about 2 cups)

1 can (15oz) white beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, plus a handful of whole leaves for garnish

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon butter

Heat the oil in a heavy saute pan over med-hi heat. Add fennel and onion, and cook stirring occasionally until tender and edges are brown, about 10 minutes.

Add beans, stock, chopped oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced by about half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in vinegar and butter, put in serving bowl, garnish with oregano leaves.

This recipe can easily be doubled, but everything takes a little longer. In fact, we usually double it because the leftovers are so popular.


Beverly said...

Oh my gosh. I've never seen oregano growing, and what an unusual plant. It is beautiful.

You've educated me once again.

spot said...

Hi Laura

We are very envious of your white flower a day for a month program. Isn't it great to get out early in the morning and feel the world? It is the epitome of mindfulness. And we never go anywhere without our trusty camera. We have oregano growing (spreading like mad in fact) even in wet old Cornwall, it tastes fantastic.