Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Marjoram has a mild oregano flavour. It is a versatile herb that can be used in many different dishes. It is commonly used with sauces, salads, soups and mixed vegetables. It is also a great addition to many meats like chicken, pork and beef. It also goes well with fish.
Marjoram is similar to look at as Oregano. This is because they come from the same family. Oregano has slightly bigger leaves and tends to be a deeper colour and has a stronger, spicier taste.
Cardiovascular health- Great for boosting the cardiovascular system. It is effective in lowering blood pressure which can reduce the risk of heart problems. It can also aid in lowering cholesterol levels and help improve blood circulation.
Improves digestion- When used in as a herb in cooking or as a herbal tea, it can be beneficial for digestion. When consumed as a tea it increases the digestive enzymes in the digestive tract, and improves appetite. It can also help in relieving constipation.
Vitamins- A, C, E, K, Folates, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thiamin.
Minerals- Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Potassium.
Marjoram is great to use fresh or dried. Fresh marjoram can be found in some supermarkets but is not always available. Dried marjoram can be bought online. It has a good shelf life and is packed full of flavour. It often comes in a handy jar/bottle that fits straight into your spice rack.
So lets look at cooking with Marjoram .There are some great ways to cook with it and I prefer to use it dried as it keeps a good flavour and is always handy to have in your kitchen.
I find dried Marjoram goes well with wet dishes like soups and sauces, where as you can use it fresh sprinkled onto a salad.
Here is a quick and easy to make recipe for a tomato soup with Marjoram added, I really enjoy this simple to make soup with a nice slice of fresh baked bread.
Serves 3-4 people
400 gram tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 large cloves of garlic chopped fine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
750ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried Marjoram
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Get a large sauce pan or pan. Add the olive oil to the pan and heat. Once hot add the onions and fry for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Now add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then add the tomato puree and stir.
Add the chicken stock and bring back to the boil then turn the heat down to simmer. Add the salt and pepper then the Marjoram and the Basil. Leave this to cook for another 10 minutes.
Once cooked, for a smooth soup, take a stick blender or pour the contents into a food processor and blend until smooth or if you prefer a chunky soup then serve as it is.