Wild Oregano Crackers


My major foraging goal last year was to fill my spice cupboard with wild ingredients.  I had been eating well from a variety of wild produce, including mushrooms and wild onions, but was still relying heavily upon store-bought spices.  Don't get me wrong.  I love imported spices, and the way they can bring me the tastes and aromas of the world.  But there is something to be said for the magic of truly local flavor.

Monarda fistulosa, also known as wild oregano or bee balm, quickly became the workhorse of my kitchen.  I was glad to have wildcrafted and dried a large tin full of the herb.  Wild oregano adds delightful seasoning to everything from marinades and dressings, to soups, and beans.  Monarda is also a nice addition to baked goods, as in these crackers.

If you'd like to read more about wild oregano and see a picture of it, click here.  You might also be interested to read what Rosalee of Methow Valley Herbs has written about its medicinal uses.

Wild Oregano Crackers (gluten-free)


3/4 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. arrowroot (substitute cornstarch)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dock seeds, ground or whole* (substitute poppy or sesame seeds)
1/2 Tbsp. crushed dried wild oregano (or 15-20 leaves finely minced fresh)
1/2 tsp. powder wild onion bulb (substitute garlic powder)
dash of cayenne
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed
1/4 c. milk

1.  Dump all of the dry ingredients into a food processor, and pulse it a few times to combine them.

2.  Add the cubed butter, and pulse the food pro until the butter is evenly distributed, and no large chunks are visible.

3.  Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the milk just until the dough forms a cohesive ball.  This may require slightly more of less than 1/4 c. of milk.

4.  Tear off two pieces of parchment paper the size of your baking sheets.  Divide the dough in two, and roll each as thinly as possible onto a piece of parchment paper.  Gently pull the dough-covered parchment papers onto two baking sheets.

5.  Using a pizza wheel, cut the crackers into whatever size you desire.  I find 1" squares to be ideal.

6.  Bake the crackers in a 400 degree (F) oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned along the edges.  Keep a close eye on them because they burn quickly.

*Prepare dock seeds by lightly toasting them in a pan.  Rub them between your hands until most of the "paper" powders off the outside.  Place them into a shallow bowl, then take them outside and winnow the chaff by gently blowing it. 

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Monarda fistulosa, with its square stems and opposite lance-shaped leaves, is a member of the mint family, which is why I'll be contributing this recipe to the Wild Things foraging recipe challenge this month.  Would you like to play along, too?  Just send your favorite recipe using any member of the mint family (lots of possibilities!) to wildthings.roundup@gmail.com before the end of June.

I'm sharing this recipe with Real Food Wednesday.  Lots of other nice ones to see, hop on over.

Comments

  1. Awesome little pizza bites!

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    Replies
    1. These have lots of flavor, but aren't so strong that they'd overwhelm most cheeses or other nibbles that you'd want to eat with them.

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  2. I haven't found wild oregano before. Can I use another herb?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Debbie. What's your favorite herb? I think these crackers would taste great with pretty much any herb you enjoy - rosemary, thyme, dill. Or leave the herbs out altogether.

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  3. Would this work as a thin pizza crust?

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    Replies
    1. The very same thought occurred to me last night as I was rolling these out. Seems like it would work, but I've not yet tried it. Let me know if you do. The dough comes together so quickly that it might make a great option for pizza crust.

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  4. Great recipe. What is their texture like?

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    Replies
    1. They're crisp enough to be a cracker, but tender, and definitely not crumbly.

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  5. These sound good and look even better. I appreciate the small tip on how to prepare the dock seeds. I've been meaning to try making dock seed crackers and now I'm even more motivated to do it. Love the idea of using wild oregano in them. Good thing a wild foodie I know helps keep my pantry stocked with monarda.

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