#26 / ODE TO OREGANO! - Marco Moreo Milano

I have a confession to make: I’m crazy about it!

Today, we’re celebrating the versatile herb that reminds us of the Mediterranean, the sea and the summer: oregano! Once, on a trip to Ponza, I met a local who harvested wild oregano and sold it in small glass bottles.

He would stock up on screw-cap juice bottles, wash them out and leave them to dry in the sun, and give them a new lease of life as containers for... oregano! After all, glass is an excellent material for storage.

He had fashioned himself a little shop in a shack just above the beach constructed out of salt-eaten wooden planks and logs washed up by the sea. It was stunning! On the shelves there were countless small bottles, ready to perfume the kitchens of loyal customers, one summer after the next.

So today, let’s talk about oregano in the kitchen. I love it so much that I practically drown my Caprese salad in it. In fact, it’s my favourite dish when summer arrives: tomato, mozzarella, basil, with a sprinkle of Mediterranean happiness.

And if someone offers me a Caprese salad without oregano, I simply won’t eat it!

Speaking of this patriotic salad (it’s white, red and green, just like the Italian flag), I just found out that the day after tomorrow – 13th June – is National Caprese Salad Day in Italy!

I’m off to go stock up on oregano! 


5 minutes + 10 minutes to drain the ingredients

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 8 ripe, round tomatoes
  • 400g of fresh or buffalo mozzarella [the latter is wetter but packs more flavour]
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of oregano, fresh or dried [but I put even more] ;)
  • Salt [for sprinkling]
  • Pepper [optional, to taste] 


  • A sharp, thin-bladed knife
  • A cutting board
  • A nice serving plate


First things first, why is it called “Caprese”?

Let me take you back to Capri in the 1920s: at a gala dinner, the chef dedicates this tasty but light salad to Futurist poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who was intolerant to the fats and sauces of traditional Neapolitan cuisine.


Like all simple recipes, it’s essential that the ingredients are of the highest quality.

So, if you can, use Italian mozzarella, fresh, large and ripe tomatoes, an aromatic extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil leaves – ideally just picked. After all, everyone should have a basil plant, even if just on the balcony of their home!

All jokes aside, let’s make our salad.

Wash and dry the tomatoes, then cut them into slices half a centimetre thick. Spread them out on a cutting board, sprinkle over salt, and let the excess water drain away.

Do the same with the mozzarella: slice it into rounds and let the slices sit in a colander for about 10 minutes – it’s best if some of the excess milk drains away, so the dish isn’t too wet.

Dry the tomato slices by dabbing them with kitchen roll.

Arrange the tomato slices, mozzarella rounds and basil leaves in an alternating pattern on a serving plate.

Dress with a drizzle of olive oil and (a little) salt (and pepper, if you’d like). If you chose buffalo mozzarella, I recommend not adding any more salt: it’s already bursting with flavour. And remember, we already salted the tomatoes before draining them.

And now, what is, for me, the essential finishing touch: a generous sprinkle of oregano!

Our Caprese salad is ready... can you feel the Capri vibes already?!

Buon appetito! 💗