Marrows are big courgettes despite being technically classified as a type of summer squash. As the fruit grows more prominent, the skin becomes more rigid and the flavour milder, but the size of the fruit makes it a perfect vessel for stuffing, and the mild flesh is the perfect vehicle for spicy, punchy flavours. It’s evident that if you grow your vegetables in the late summer months of August and September, you’ll have a glut of them, but you can also buy them at the store during this time. In addition to their large size, they’re also ideal for a show-stopping veggie roast with a difference.
What to look for when buying a marrow
It is best to choose a small marrow, as huge ones tend to become bitter and watery. If brown patches are on the marrow, cut them away, although a large vegetable like this can have some blemishes.
How to cook marrow
It is possible to roast, steam, bake, grill or boil marrows as with most vegetables. Since the skin can be pretty tricky (especially on large marrows), it’s a good idea to cut the vegetables up into smaller pieces if you’re not peeling them (although leaving the skin on when stuffing is a good idea since it won’t break down while cooking). You can make a simple roast marrow side dish by following the recipe below.
- One bone marrow
- with three sprigs of fresh thyme
- mixed in with the oil
Preheat the oven to 190oC/gas mark 5. Using a metal spoon, scrape out the seeds from the marrow—Toss 1.5 cm-thick crescents of the marrow with oil, salt, and pepper. Add fresh thyme to the baking tray.
After roasting the marrow for 25 minutes, mix the marrow halfway through to achieve an even roast (and siphon off any liquid that may have come out during roasting). The best way to impart flavour to the marrow is to stuff it with a rich, slow-cooked stew, Bolognese, or moussaka, wrap it in foil, and bake for a few hours until it is tender.
Boiling marrow – how does it work?
Prepare a saucepan of salted boiling water; after peeling the marrows, put them in and boil them until they are tender. Slice them up; halve them; and, if you have large ones, quarter them.
Does marrow need to be cooked?
Marrow can be steamed, baked, boiled, fried or roasted. Eating stripy skin is possible, but you might want to remove the seeds and stringy middles before roasting or frying to enjoy the flesh.
What are the health benefits of vegetable marrow?
Marrow is an incredibly nutritious vegetable that provides a host of health benefits. Besides helping us reduce weight and improve our vision, bones, and immunity system, it also helps improve blood circulation and energy levels.