What’s up with marjoram?

Marjoram is such a lovely name for an herb. It’s delicate name complements the fragile little leaves sprouting from soft stems. Marjoram, however, is no basil. In fact, it’s like eating perfume.

I was eager to try out a new pasta recipe (yet another in my ode to Jamie Oliver series) because it sounded simple and delicious. While you boil some spaghetti, halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes and mix with a handful of marjoram or basil, a couple of garlic cloves (minced), olive oil, sea salt and a splash of red wine vinegar. When the spaghetti’s done, combine with the tomato mixture and enjoy. Sounds fresh and easy, right? It was, but the marjoram tasted like a weed you’d eat on one of those food tours where you learn how to forage in the woods.

Here’s a tip: use the basil. While the free-form recipe seems to imply that basil and marjoram are interchangeable, they’re not. I’ve enjoyed marjoram on chicken or a hearty roast, but it didn’t complement the pasta in any edible way. It’s pretty though, so at least it’s got that going for it.


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