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I warned you yesterday that I have a love for oregano, right? Well I though I should share a new favorite way to use my oregano, and everyone loves it! It is a simple side dish, or maybe a main dish if you choose. You can transform simple green beans into a delicious Green Bean Amandine, using my Orange Vinaigrette. I playfully term it Green Bean Almondine, because I also have a love for almonds! Check it out:
Green Bean Amandine
In a small saucepan, cook juice over high heat until reduced to 2 tbsp., about 5 minutes; let cool. In a small bowl, whisk together juice, oil, vinegar, salt, and chopped oregano. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. As well, fill a large bowl with icecubes and a fw cups of water. we need an ice bath to stop the green beans from over cooking and to keep that vibrant green color.
Add 2 teaspoons salt to the water, then add the green beans. Cook them until they are crisp-tender, which for me is about 4-5 minutes. Once that cooking point is reached, drain the water and immediately add the green beans to the ice bath. They will need to sit there for 2-3 minutes until they are cold. Drain and and pat them dry.
Next in a small sauté pan you will need to roast the almonds. Bring pan to medium heat and then add the almonds, cooking them until they are lightly toasted. Once done, place the almonds in a bowl and set aside.
Now in a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, you will add the butter and garlic. Once melted, add the green beans. Sauté those until the beans get heated through again, maybe 2 minutes. transfer the beans mixture into a large bowl and toss with gradual amounts of the Orange Vinaigrette. Once coasted to your liking, transfer to a platter and top with the toasted almond slivers. Enjoy!
Yesterday I touched on a few herbs and spices that have health benefits, and I realized that I forgot my favorite! This little Mediterranean beauty is the first medicinal herb I ever used! Introducing my friend oregano! I can remember a time in life where things were rough and I had gotten sick and just couldn’t get to the doctor. Looking for a home remedy became my first priority. After much research I found that this little beauty could help me battle the ill feelings.
The use and love of oregano goes back to the Greek and Roman days. It is thought to be the symbol of happiness, thus many brides and grooms would be crowned with a laurel of Oregano. As well, it has has been revered for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It has been used to treat food borne pathogens, MRSA, cold and flu, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, and as a topical insect repellant. There are many more uses as well. For easy use make sure you search for that little bottle labeled ‘oil of oregano’ if you want the potent form. Most health food stores carry it. However cooking with it, or eating it fresh in dishes will give great benefits as well. The oil form is obviously just more concentrated. Oregano contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium. It has many positive attributes, don’t you think?
Take advantage of those attributes, because oregano can be enjoyed in many dishes. The most common use we think of is slow cooked into a magnificent pasta sauce. To add a refreshing pop, sprinkle fresh oregano on your next slice of pizza. Its as good or better on top than it is blended into a pizza sauce. Fresh forms can also be sprinkled on garlic bread, in salads and onto omelets for a flavor twist. I unfortunately do not have fresh growing at home right now, however, I still make the most of the dried on hand. The tomato sauce I canned over the summer. now in my pantry, gets a little help transforming into an amazing pasta sauce, with the help of my oregano (and some other spicy friends). Any way you try it, its delicious in my book! With all of these great health benefits, well, just consider those as bonus points! Enjoy getting to know this wonderful herb!