ITALIAN

10 GREAT IDEAS TO USE MARJORAM IN YOUR KITCHEN!

food & recipes seasons Jul 02, 2022
Marjoram

One of the beauty of living in China has been for me TAOBAO, which can be easily described as the Chinese version of Amazon, but with so much MORE choices on it! So, when you live in a huge city (like Shanghai, let’s say for example) and the grocery shop next to your home has no idea what you are looking for, that’s when Taobao comes to help you and save your day! One click and the next day (maximum 4-5 days if what you ordered comes from the opposite side of the Country) BOOM DONE, you have what you need. At your door. With a smiling pony express that disappears before you say “thank you” to get to the next delivery.

Well, in one of these recipe-creation crazy days, I had the brilliant idea to order “some” marjoram to spice up my foods. As I said, one click and… And I accidentally ended up with a WHOLE BAG of dried marjoram which could last for the next 10 years! 🤦‍♀️

Thankfully in Shanghai there is a handful of Italian mamas and I had the chance to share with them some of it to them, so this post is dedicated to all the Italian mums in Shanghai who do not have an idea of what to do with the marjoram bag I gave them 😉

FIRST THINGS FIRST

What the hell is marjoram??? Well, Marjoram (the beautiful Italian name of it is MAGGIORANA, but scientifically it is called Origanum majorana or Majorana hortensis) is an aromatic herb in the mint family that has been cultivated for thousands of years. If you haven’t heard about it in your previous life, don’t worry, you are not alone! 

The fuzzy, green, oval-shape leaves grow opposite from each other, forming distinctive clusters, or knots (it’s also known as knotted marjoram). Check it out in the fresh version ⬇️

 

 
 

If you look closely to it (and you love plants!) you might find it similar to oregano (well, it is called Origanum majorana for a reason after all). It used to belong to its own genus, but now it belongs to the same genus as oregano, indeed. This means that all marjoram is now a type of oregano, but all oregano is not marjoram.

So, what is the difference with oregano? 🙄🧐

Marjoram’s flavor lacks the oiliness and abrasiveness of oregano. Marjoram is more delicate and floral than oregano. It is sometimes called ‘sweet marjoram’ and for good reason. Even if you think you’re not familiar with marjoram’s flavor, you’ve likely had it in its dried form. Dried marjoram often shows up in the common prepacked-herb blends.

Here it is how marjoram looks like in its dried form ⬇️

 

So, now that we know the difference, can we learn how to use it?? Sure, here I am ladies 😊👩‍🍳.

Marjoram can of course be used as either whole fresh marjoram leaves or dried, crushed marjoram. Fresh marjoram is usually added at the end of cooking to preserve its flavor. Try fresh marjoram in herb sachets or sprinkled on top of a finished dish, while dried marjoram is better for herb blends and marinades.

Now that you have it, fresh or dried, please be carefully on HOW YOU STORE IT. 🌱🌱

📍 If you got some fresh marjoram, here is how you should store it.

Put it in the refrigerator: First wrap it in a damp paper towel and then loosely wrap that bundle in plastic wrap or tuck it inside of an airtight container. When you’re ready to cook with your fresh marjoram, separate the leaves from the stems, and then chop the leaves and proceed with your dish.

📍 If you have some dried marjoram, better if you store it in glass bottles or airtight plastic containers. Remember that light and air will degrade the flavor of the herb. So be quick and use it all!!! 🤘

 

Well, here are some of my favorite usage of marjoram (for the non-veggie option I want to thank my buddy who is the first recipe-taster ever ❤️🤓):

• SAUCE SEASONING

– Italian tomato sauce with marjoram is a perfect example of it

• SPINKLE IT ON PASTA

– Cacio e pepe pasta with black pepper, cheese, and a sprinkle of marjoram on top makes it more flavorful

– Spaghetti with butter and marjoram

– Tagliolini with herbs (marjoram + oregano + thyme + basil)

– Mushroom and garlic spaghetti

• ROASTED VEGGIES

– Roasted squash with goat cheese and marjoram dressing

– Roasted red peppers marinated with sliced garlic cloves and fresh marjoram

– Cauliflower gratin with besciamella and dried marjoram

• SAUTEED GREEN BEANS

Add it in your green bean salad OR on your favorite sauteed greens

• GRILLED MEAT

– Grilled chicken breast with lemon juice and marjoram

• EGGS

– Pour a bit of marjoram in the frittata OR on the top of your sunny side up eggs

 

AND, because I love you all, I want to share this last piece of knowledge with you. Marjoran has ALSO great HEATH BENEFITS 🎉🎉:

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, marjoram is popular in traditional and alternative medicine. The fresh or dried leaves can be brewed as a tea, or marjoram essential oil can be extracted from the plant and may help to treat colds, coughs, and asthma, to aid digestion, help regulate menstrual cycles, increase milk supply during breastfeeding, and decrease blood pressure. For the breastfeeding mums out there 🤱: YES, it can help increase your milk supply. So be generous when you use it!!! (Of course, always check with your healthcare provider before using herbs medicinally).

I will share with you my next recipes… In the meantime, let me know how your recipes come out girls!

Happy herbing cooking to all of you!

 

With lots of love,