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. Lots of people aren’t sure how to cook with marrow (it’s what a courgette or zucchini grows into if you allow it to become large – see the image below) but I know exactly what I’m going to do. I make what my mother always used to make – sausage-stuffed marrow. Yum!
- One large, fresh marrow.
- One pound or 500g Lincolnshire sausage meat – this has just the right spice and meat to rusk ratio and needs no further embellishments.
- Or, if you can’t get good Lincolnshire sausage meat, 500g of plain pork sausage meat, a small grated onion and 100g white breadcrumbs and 6 fresh sage leaves that have been finely chopped. Mix and bind with an egg. Chill until required.
- You can make a vegetarian version of this with a stuffing made of white breadcrumbs, fried onions, chopped sage, an egg to bind it and plenty of ground black pepper and a pinch of salt.
- I have also been known to use rice-based stuffings too that have been mixed with leftover roast vegetables and crumbled feta. Leftover risotto is perfect for this too.
- Ground black pepper.
- A tablespoon of light olive oil.
What you need to do…..
- Preheat the oven to high, 200ºC.
- 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. Before stuffing them, I lightly steam them for about 5 minutes to take the vegetable from raw to lightly cooked but still firm.
- Allow the marrow cylinders to cool slightly and then stand each cylinder upright on 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, or other vegetable oil.
- Place it in the oven and roast it on high 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 and some crusty bread. 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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