From the Herb Garden: Marjoram

Do you like marjoram? It seems to us like a sleeper herb - the one that gets picked up just to round out your herb collection but then WHAM! The next thing you know, you're using it in everything! At least that's what happened to us, and now we crave its soft floral flavor in everything we cook.

Marjoram is in the mint family (like so many of our favorite herbs) and is a sub-species of oregano. It also looks very similar to oregano with woody stems and flat, rounded leaves, and the two are often confused. You can tell the difference in the smell and flavor: marjoram is floral and woodsy while oregano tends to be much more pungent and spicy.

Because its flavor is so delicate, it's best to add marjoram at the very end of cooking. We like it in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces - anything getting paired with grilled meats, beans, or grains. Sometimes we break our own "add it last" rule and use it in pot roast braises and our favorite rice and mushroom casserole, where it adds a very mellow and somewhat sweet herbal flavor.

How do you like to use marjoram in your cooking?

Related: From the Spice Cupboard: Za'atar Seasoning Blend

(Image: Flickr member Jade Craven licensed under Creative Commons)

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