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Saturday, June 16, 2012


Excellent Ingredient of the Week
Marjoram is a perennial herb from the mint family with oval, inch-long green leaves and a mild, sweet, oregano-like favor. Wild marjoram is actually just another name for oregano. Marjoram is much more interesting than oregano, sweeter and more exotic in aroma. Add near the end of cooking or the heat will destroy its delicate flavor.
It grows wild in the Mediterranean region, with 90% of the world’s supply coming from Egypt.
What do I do with it? I use it with poultry, I use it in the crust on my racks of lamb, I toss some leaves in my garden salad mix. Here are some other ideas.

marjoram marinade

This is a great marinade for shrimp.

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Just combine and marinate shrimp for 30 minutes then grill.

carrot and rice puree flavored with marjoram

2 pounds carrots
2/3 cup long-grain rice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram leaves or 1 1/4 teaspoons crumbled dried marjoram

Peel carrots and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Fill a 7- to 8-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add carrots and rice and cook, stirring until water returns to a boil, until carrots and rice are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain mixture well in a large sieve. In a food processor puree half of carrot mixture with half of butter until smooth and transfer to a bowl. Puree remaining carrot mixture and butter in same manner and transfer to bowl. Season puree with salt and pepper and stir in marjoram. (Puree may be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely before being chilled, covered.) Serve as side dish to roast chicken or fish.