Stuffed Marrow – Cooking A Traditional Vegetable
There seems to be something quintessentially English about a stuffed marrow, in spite of the fact that marrows were not indigenous to these islands, originating in central America. Maybe it’s because it has an association with village fetes and the largest marrow competition, or because they are a standard of the allotment or they used to be such a common element of the British diet.
Whatever the reason there is also little doubt that they seem to have gone more out of fashion. They are not so often seen on the supermarket shelves, – may be because they are tricky to get a uniform size and shape in any quantity. Happily they are frequently seen at Farmers Markets and local fruit and vegetable shops.
More popular in village fetes, allotments and Farmers Markets than the supermarket, marrows are ideal for serving stuffed with your favourite fillng
How To Cook a Marrow
But that does leave some, particularly perhaps the younger generation, wondering how best to cook a marrow. It has a fairly subtle flavour and is best cooked with other ingredients – and it lends itself very well to being stuffed and baked. There are a huge variety of recipes – you can stuff a marrow with pretty much any mixture you like – the more obvious being a bolognese or chilli style sauce or risotto type mix. You can use what have you in your cupboards. Cheese too goes very nicely. You can use the same type of mix that is used for stuffed pepper recipes.
Choose small to medium size marrows as they really do taste better. Despite the legendary cut throat competitions to grow the largest marrows, this is not because they taste better – more a case of just because you can. I use a ‘Table Dainty Marrow’ from Shillingford Organics. It may not be exactly ‘dainty’ but it is on the smaller side and rather tasty.
Vegetarian Stuffed Marrow
In this vegetarian stuffed marrow recipe, I have used a vegetable mix with cheeses. You can ring the changes using perhaps mushrooms, celery or other vegetables. I served this meal with boiled, basmati rice but you could use any rice or perhaps a baked potato.
I slice the marrow into about 8 pieces, depending on the size then remove the seeds from the centre and stuff the ‘hole’. This ensures the marrow cooks right through. An alternative is to cut the marrow length ways, remove the seeds and stuff it length ways, but it does take much longer to cook like that.
Stuffed Marrow With Vegetables
- 1 medium marrow, thickly sliced into 8 pieces and deseeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 small tin sweetcorn, drained
- 50g frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- 100g red Leicester, grated
- Place the slices of marrow flat in a roasting dish. Set aside
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil
- Fry the onion until soft
- Add the pepper and garlic and cook for a further 3-5 minutes
- Add the sweetcorn and peas
- Stir in most of the cheese, reserving about 1/6
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the holes of the marrow rings
- Place the remaining mixture on top of the marrow rings
- Sprinkle each ring with the remaining cheese
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for about 25 minutes