Author Topic: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?  (Read 4138 times)

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Offline IndyRob

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Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« on: February 01, 2010, 07:35:38 PM »
I got an AeroGarden for Christmas and now have a wealth of basil (well, at least wealth for February) and hopefully oregano soon (it seems to be doing well but seems to have a longer growth curve and is not yet quite as bountiful as the basil).  So I'm thinking of the ways to use them on pizzas.

I've used fresh basil in a chiffonade over my pesto pizzas, but have tended not to basil on top of a traditional pizza.  Note that I say 'on top'.  I'm not talking about inclusion in a sauce here, but added on top of the pizza.

In my use of dry oregano, I feel that in the high heat of the oven, the oregano starts to smoke - wafting over the melting cheese and sticks to it.  But now I'm about to have some fresh oregano for the first time.  Not sure if I should use my first harvest fresh or 'fresh dried'.

I say 'fresh dried' because I needed to remove a leaf of the basil and just left it on the table.  It quickly dried into a crumbly leaf.  But a *very* aromatic one that left me wondering whether dry is not better than fresh.

So I'd like to solicit some comments from those with experience with the fresh herbage on pizza.


Offline FirePie

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 11:21:20 AM »
IndyRob,

When it comes to choosing one particular herb to my pizza, I prefer to use only fresh basil chiffonade to my Margherita-style pies and very finely crumbled, dried oregano to my Marinara and most other like pizzas. A couple of tips for each use: I like to add the basil directly onto each pie as it goes into the oven, since my electric range doesn't exceed a temperature of merely 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives the aroma and flavor of the basil a chance to permeate the sauce and cheese, and it doesn't really matter of the leaves blacken slightly, since that really draws out all of the basil taste and wonderful aroma. As for using oregano, I keep a supply in a small pepper mill and prefer to grind it very finely, almost to a powder on pizza and in other preparations. This way I get all the wonderful flavor of the oregano without overpowering the other ingredients and giving a more coarse crumble a chance to smoke as the pizza is baking. Try it for yourself and let me know what your results. are. Happy baking/eating!!!  :chef:

-FirePie-

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 06:04:25 PM »
Definitely try some fresh oregano on your pies - especially the pepperoni! Finely chop it and put half the amount you plan to use in your sauce (whether or not you cook your sauce beforehand) and the other half right on top of the pie after it comes out. That way you get both the cooked and fresh flavors. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Don't over do it though - remember balance is key.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Puzzolento

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 06:07:24 PM »
I grow oregano in my yard, and I thought the fresh stuff would be a nice change, but when I tried it, it was pretty awful. Since then, I only use dried oregano. Maybe the variety I grow is weird.

Offline ninapizza23

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 09:02:26 AM »
Puzzolento,
do you grow the greek oregano or italian? Does it have pink flower or white?

Offline Puzzolento

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 09:15:38 AM »
Oh, boy. I don't know. It's what they sell at Home Depot!

When I use it fresh, it has a very harsh medicinal taste.

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 09:20:29 AM »
Sometimes I use fresh herbs from our garden, but most of the time I use dried herbs. Partly it is for the same reason barbeque pitmasters will use dried versus fresh ingredients for their rubs and sauces.  The dried ingriedients are easier to measure and give a more consistent flavor from batch to batch vs. the fresh ingredients.
Let them eat pizza.

Offline malvanova

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 10:45:52 AM »
  I use only fresh basil from my garden or store bought in the winter, oregano is grown in my garden about 3-4 plants, let them fully grow all summer, Italian has pink flower mine does , pull them out when fully grown the root and all wash all dirt and dust just spray with garden hose fully clean tie them at the roots allow water to dry off by hanging upsidedown ,get a paper grocery bag wrap around the plants and tie at the roots,  twine ,rubberband ,whatever let it hang dry upsidedown over winter in garage, in the spring just squeeze the bag until you feel all the plants have dropped all dried up leaves and presto, dried oregano place in a container and use.

   Phil
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 10:50:12 AM by malvanova »

Offline ninapizza23

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 05:17:50 PM »
Puzzolento,
the one from Home Depot is greek with pink flowers. The Sicilian wild oregano has white flowers. I have a whole bunch of plants in my backyard that I brought from Sicily. I have some dried oregano from last year with a beautiful aroma, it does not smell medicinal. I would like to warn you that if you get the real Sicilian like mine get rid of the other one otherwise it will get pink.too!

Offline Puzzolento

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Re: Oregano and/or Basil - Fresh or Dried?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 09:47:40 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I haven't noticed any problems with my oregano when it's dried. And once I found out how bad it was fresh, I quit using it altogether. It just sits in the yard. Easier to buy a can at the store.


 

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