My neighbour has a brilliant allotment that backs on to my garden and, as is so often the case, he regularly has far more produce ready to use than his own family can consume. One vegetable glut I always look forward to is when he gifts me a plump and glossy green marrow. Many people aren’t quite sure what to do with a marrow (it’s what a courgette or zucchini grows into if you allow it to become too large), but I know exactly what I’m going to do. I make what my mother always does – marrow stuffed with pork sausage meat and sage. Yum!
- One large, fresh marrow.
- 500g Lincolnshire sausage meat. This has just the right spice and meat to rusk ratio, simply mix in 6 finely chopped fresh sage leaves and a little extra black pepper.
- Or, if you can’t get good quality Lincolnshire sausage meat, use 500g of plain pork sausage meat mixed with a finely chopped shallot, 50g white breadcrumbs, 6 finely chopped fresh sage leaves and half a teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- You can make a vegetarian version of this with a stuffing made of white breadcrumbs, fried onions, chopped sage, an egg to bind, plenty of ground black pepper and a pinch of salt.
- I have used rice-based stuffings that have been mixed with leftover roast vegetables and crumbled feta. Leftover risotto is perfect for this too.
- A tablespoon of light olive oil.
What you need to do…..
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
- First, prepare the marrow. Cut the rounded end from both ends and peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler – it’s far too tough to eat. Cut it into four slices or six rounds (depends on the size of the marrow and however many people you want to feed) of at least 4 inches or 10cm depth. Then, scoop out the seeds. I use a melon baller for this to make it easy. You will now have 4 to 6 cylinders to stuff.
- Stand each cylinder upright in a lightly oiled baking dish.
- Fill each cylinder with enough of the stuffing mix so that it peeps just above the top of the cylinder.
- Lightly brush the outside of the marrow and the top of the stuffing with olive oil.
- Place it in the oven and roast for about half an hour or until the marrow and stuffing is browned just like the one in the picture below.
- This is great served warm or lukewarm (you can taste the delicate flavour of the marrow better this way) with a tomato salad or a spicy tomato sauce and some new potatoes on the side. My Mum used to make the sage and onion stuffing version of this and serve it as a side dish with pork chops or as part of a Sunday roast dinner. Either way, it’s quick, easy, versatile and tasty.
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