The key to this simple Oregano Salad is good quality tomatoes, this one was made with homegrown tomatoes and the wonderful aroma of the gorgeous tomatoes and the fragrant oregano was a perfect accompaniment to the pungent onions.
Pair this Oregano Salad with anything barbecued (grilled) or any meat-based dishes and roasts. Great with lasagna or traditional Greek Moussaka or Pasticcio. Also, goes with poultry, seafood such as shellfish and swordfish.
What is oregano?
Oregano is a culinary herb from the mint family. Its name comes from the Greek words “oros” meaning mountain, and “ganos” meaning joy.
It is native to Western and Southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. Its flavour varies greatly from mild to hot and spicy (Italian Oregano is milder than Greek Oregano while Turkish Oregano is more pungent).
Oregano leaves are more flavoursome when dried than fresh.
Choosing and preparing oregano…
Choose bright green leaves and a firm stem and use only the leaves as the stems are inedible.
Rinse your oregano under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels and cut off the leaves to use.
You can either discard the stems or save them to use in your next tomato-based sauce, just don’t forget to take them out and throw them away before serving.
What foods pair well with oregano…
Best Partners …
- Tomatoes and tomato-based sauces
- Bell Peppers
- Fish the oiler varieties either baked or grilled
- Meats especially red meats that have been barbecued or roasted (especially lamb)
- Pasta and pasta sauces
- Beans especially dried
- Egg and Egg dishes
- Vegetables (especial summer varieties)
Best cuisines to use oregano with…
Best tomato varieties for this oregano salad…
The key to the success of this salad lies in the quality of the tomatoes used. I have outlined the best ones to use as the varieties of now available in Australia is quite extraordinary.
Slicing, Round or Globe Tomatoes
The tomato that you will typically find in your supermarket, they are medium-large tomatoes, make sure you choose ripe ones.
Are the biggest of the many tomato varieties, they are bright red, and heavy in the hand. Beefsteaks are meaty and juicy with a mild tomato flavour and an unusual ribbed shape, relatively few seeds and are at their peak during late summer.
Are grown hydroponically, on the vine, in a controlled environment. They are sold on the vine in approximate groups of 4 or 5. They are a firm, sweet-tasting tomato great for salads and sandwiches.
Oxheart an Heirloom Tomato Variety
Are one of my favourite heirloom varieties, they are heart-shaped with few seeds. These big red tomatoes have meaty flesh and a fine sweet true tomato flavour.
Choosing and storing your tomatoes…
Choose very ripe tomatoes to use in this salad they should be firm with unmarked skin and no soft spots. They should also have a wonderful tomatoey aroma.
Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight – do not refrigerate unless very ripe as they will become mealy.
Preparing and cutting your tomatoes…
There is not much work involved in the preparation of tomatoes, all you have to do is rinse them under cold running water but be gentle with the Heirloom varieties as they are fragile and soft. Shake to remove excess, water, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut them in half and then cut them into wedges.
Oregano Salad with Tomatoes and Onion
- Tomato knife or other serrated blade knife
- 500 grams tomatoes (either round, truss, beefsteak or oxheart) (approximately 3 large)
- 1 red onion
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 4 tbsps olive oil
- 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
- Wash the tomatoes and remove the end and core and slice into rounds.
- Remove the tops and bottoms and the papery skin from the onion and slice thinly into rounds with a mandoline slicer. Wash the oregano sprigs and remove the leaves from the stems.
- Arrange the tomato rounds on a platter and layer with the onions and oregano leaves until you have used up all the ingredients, season each layer with salt and pepper.
- Place the olive oil and vinegar in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
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