Spices and Seasons – Oregano and White Beans


IMG_9513  Well, I cannot stay without telling you about the secrets of the flavor closet for too long, so, this week I am telling you about Oregano.

I was introduced to oregano, by my friend’s Greek husband. It is not a surprise, since the herb has a lot of importance in Mediterranean cuisine. I would like to mention, most of my recipes stick to regular oregano, there is in fact a sub-spices called Greek oregano, where the leaves are smaller and stronger in flavor.

The name “oregano” means “joy of the mountain” and has its origins in the ancient Greek words, “oros” (mountain) and “ganos” (joy).

According to Greek mythology, the sweet, spicy scent of oregano was created by the goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness.

Oregano will survive through our winter, if brought indoors, which is what I do. Although the past few days of this deep freeze has made the plant look rather sickly. Oregano is a very nutritious plant, and is supposed to be very beneficial for colds, coughs and respiratory issues, so a great pick for this time of the year. In addition, the herb is rich in Vitamin K, fiber and manganese. I often like to pair oregano with thyme in my cooking and we end up getting a flavor that is close to bishops weed or carom seeds that is popular in Indian cooking.

IMG_9511Now, back to the lovely legumes series, this week is the fourth of the 6 common legumes that I have been talking about.

This week, it is all about the versatile cannellini bean, a delicate tasting white bean that has a lovely soft texture that works well for almost all purees and dips. It is however, not as high in fiber as some of its other counterparts. Here is my slow cooker bean dip that I have shared with you at an earlier date. This week I have used it for a chicken and white bean stew that has been christened  a pink chili by one of son’s soccer buddies.

I shall let you read the recipe and have you decide what you wish to call it.




About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years. Rinku is also the author of the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook, that highlights and offers many simple Indian recipes off the beaten path. Her second cookbook, Spices and Seasons, uses the approach in this column and marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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