From the Greek "origanon," meaning mountain and joy.
This plant has small, slightly downy oval leaves of a gray-green color, sometimes speckled. The leaves grow in pairs and are covered with little glands filled with oil
Though marjoram is often confused with oregano, an inaccuracy which persists because of their Latin names, botanists make the following distinction: the aromatic herb called marjoram is an common annual garden plant, while oregano is wild marjoram. Since the Middle Ages, every boy leaving his family home to begin an occupation or to roam the world would always slip a sprig of marjoram into the back of his boot in order to bring him luck in his adult life.
Rich in calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin C.
It should have a firm stem, nice straight leaves without blackening or yellowing, and no wilting.
It can be kept in a plastic bag in the lower part of the refrigerator.
Marjoram is good in marinades since its antioxidant properties prevent the growth of bacteria. Its flavor is similar to thyme, but milder. It goes wonderfully with red meat, poultry, game, stews, stuffings, eggs, vinaigrettes, soups… And combines well with some vegetables, particularly carrots, salsify, cucumber. Marjoram aids digestion, relieves flatulence added to fresh and dried beans. A few fresh leaves can even be added to a salad or a butter sauce. Marjoram does not stand up to long cooking; it is best added towards the end of the cooking period to do not loose its mild flavor Marjoram blends well with parsley, dill, basil, or thyme. Try it in soups or stews.
- Enhance rabbit, game or lamb kebabs by brushing them before cooking with a mixture of olive oil and marjoram.
- In a potato casserole with butter sauce, cream and ham
- Be adventurous: add a hint of marjoram to ganache and pair it with red berries.
Marjoram is essential in many regional dishes, whether Mediterranean-style meatballs, dumplings for England's Exeter stew, the traditional Thursday pea soup in Sweden, Indian pastries or Spanish rice.
Corsica - cheese ravioli are flavored with "parsa," a regional variety for which marjoram and a little mint may be substituted.
Provence - filet of mullet with marjoram and green olive cream sauce.
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