"Learn About..." is a new recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a perennial herb that originated in Egypt and Arabia, and is now indigenous to Cyprus and southern Turkey. With sweet pine and citrus undertones, it pairs great with tomatoes and tomato-based dishes, like marinara, in salad dressings, soups, and stews.
A close relative of oregano, marjoram can replace oregano in many dishes. But be warned—once you taste the vibrant, zesty marjoram in your dish previously dominated by oregano, it'll be hard to go back!
Marjoram is also very popular in cosmetics, used in body lotions, shaving gels, and soaps. But its benefits don't stop there—marjoram contains many health benefits. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, and iron, it's a great herb to add to your diet.
Healthier than what meets the eye
One tablespoon of marjoram contains 3% of your daily Vitamin A intake, 4% of your daily calcium intake, 1.75% of your Vitamin C intake, and 9% of your daily iron intake. These numbers may seem small, but remember: this is only in one tablespoon!
The herb also promotes digestion, relieves nausea, eliminates flatulence and other stomach issues, and acts as an anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent. It improves cardiovascular health, and has anti-inflammatory effects.
What's not to love about marjoram? Try it in a delicious seafood pasta dish this week!
Spicy shrimp and mussel linguine with marjoram
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 bunch of parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped marjoram leaves
15 raw peeled shrimp (defrosted if frozen)
1/2 lb mussels
1 red chilli
1 lemon (zest and juice)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill a large pot with water and season liberally with salt. Once boiling, cook either fresh linguine until al dente, or according to directions on package.
2. Put olive oil in pan. Once hot, add chilli (de-seeded and finely chopped), lemon zest, and minced garlic. Stir for 30 seconds. Add parsley and marjoram.
3. Add mussels. Cover for 2-3 minutes, until the shells open. Add shrimp and stir for another 2-3 minutes, until shrimp turns from translucent to pink.
4. Add lemon juice. Stir for another 30 seconds. Add pasta into the pan, and toss with tongs, until pasta is coated.
5. Remove from heat and serve with chopped parsley and marjoram as garnish.
In the Urban Cultivator…
Marjoram can be easily grown in your kitchen with the Urban Cultivator Residential unit.
The delicious herb takes only about three weeks to grow before you can harvest it, and one flat of marjoram seeds will yield 80 grams of the herb.
It's time to incorporate marjoram in your culinary repertoire!