Marjoram is the sweet, mild and citrusy herb commonly found in Mediterranean cooking, but is just at home in any number of tomato-based dishes and seasonings around the globe.
What is marjoram?
First things first - marjoram is not oregano! While both leafy herbs hail from the same mint family, delicate marjoram is not to be confused with it's more robust and spicier big sister!
Marjoram can be identified by its leaves which are slightly hairy and more grey-green in colour. In general, its flavour is more floral and woodsy.
Not all marjoram was created equal either - you can find several different varieties from green to yellow, but what they all have in common is the fragrant and delicate flavour.
Fresh marjoram or dried marjoram can be used in cooking although dried marjoram is easier to store longer term in the spice rack. Simply use dried marjoram more sparingly as the flavour is more concentrated. Dried marjoram is also commonly found in herb blends like herbs de Provence or za'atar.
Dried marjoram is most commonly used in sauces, stuffings, and often in salad dressings but can also be found in cheeses, even on exterior the rind.
If you don't have any marjoram to hand you can substitute with readily available herbs like oregano or failing that, thyme. As a general rule use three parts of marjoram for every two parts of oregano that your recipe requires.
Marjoram is perfect chopped into soups, stews and ground meats or simply for adding a final flourish to some crunchy roast potatoes.
Try these recipes using Marjoram:
This hearty Tuscan soup is garnished with marjoram adding a lightness to the dish:
Marjoram works wonders balancing the richness in this stuffing for mushrooms
Chopped marjoram is the secret ingredient in this beefburger mix: