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Stuffed marrow goes vego

February 19, 2012

Being given the fourth marrow in a short space of time, they were not only beginning to transform from blessing to curse, but I was getting a bit sick of eating them stir fried (which I do not recommend for the tastebuds, only the er…lazybuds). Stuffed marrows or stuffed courgettes/zucchinis do not really excite me, but these were a pleasant surprise. Many recipes call for mince, so I thought I’d add a vegetarian one to the recipe box that is the Internet.

The umami-laden topping ended up complementing the sweet and soft base really well, which was still pretty yummy even though I overcooked it a little. It was incredibly juicy though so I might stick to using all day-old bread (you could probably even use cracker crumbs), and skip the mushrooms, which release a lot of water even though I cooked off a lot of liquid prior to adding them to the stuffing.

Here I’m just giving a base recipe, which you can eat as is or add anything to as long as it doesn’t emit too much more water. Or you can eat as is – I actually think the version I made with mushroom would have been nicer without. The wonderful thing is that this uses up two things most people don’t want (at least not passionately) – marrow and super dry crusty bread that’s past the cut-it-and-pop-it-in-your-mouth stage.

Stuffed marrow – a vegetarian’s base guide

Look at your marrow, and conjure up about 1/2 the marrow’s volume worth of very dry breadcrumbs (preferably from a crusty loaf that’s been neglected), placing them in a bowl.* Halve the marrow lengthways, scoop out the fleshy bits leaving a shell about 1cm thick (just under 1/2″), placing this on a baking tray. Try to scoop out large chunks, as you then grate this over your breadcrumbs. Sprinkle salt and pepper over with some smoked paprika or whatever herbs you have on hand, along with a sprinkling of finely grated parmesan or very strong, hard cheese, and mix it all up. Let sit while you preheat the oven to 200C (400F).

Meanwhile, slice some brie (mine was smoked, so I omitted the smoked paprika) or taleggio. By now the grated marrow bits will have emitted quite a bit of juice, so the mixture should stick together a bit more, like pattie mixture almost. I added a little bit of cream cheese to further bind it all together at this point, or creamy feta would work, just take it easy on the salt earlier on. Stuff into the cavity of the marrow, lay cheese over top, and pop into your oven on the top rack for about 10-15 minutes before checking for doneness – a knife should slide in to the shell with a bit of resistance still, and the flesh should still be opaque. Check at the 10 minute mark though if your marrow is on the small side. Remember it’ll continue to cook as it sits. Let the marrow cool for a few minutes before slicing into it and serving.

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This would be nicely balanced by some refreshing crispy radish slices or just-picked lettuce leaves drizzled with lemon juice. Happy to hear your suggestions on what else the stuffing could work with…I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of the marrows yet!

*Some of my bread was so hard and dry by then I had to finely dice it with a knife, as it probably would have killed the food processor. This sort of bread makes the best texture filling. Not all climates will be kind to this sort of bread and bless it with a lack of mould though :P

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The “Asian” eggplants from the Christchurch Farmer’s Market. They are melt-in-your mouth tender, with not a trace of bitterness. I like to braise them but you can just sautee them as well if you don’t want them too silky soft. A bit pricier than the regular kind at $1 per skinny eggplant, but so worth it!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. peasepudding permalink
    February 19, 2012 2:00 pm

    A nice option for marrow, there’s a few around at the moment and we are grilling them with Japanese style.

  2. February 19, 2012 4:50 pm

    P: Ooo, recipe and pics please!

  3. February 20, 2012 4:23 am

    Those are just wonderful. I love stuffing vegetables this way.

  4. February 20, 2012 8:32 am

    I didn’t like marrow until I discovered how good it is grilled and stirred into risotto. Cut the marrow in thick slices, remove seeds, brush with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill or hot bake until it’s juicy on the inside and browning on the outside. Cool a little, then cut chunks of marrow off the skin and stir into a simple risotto.

    Your recipe with the bread soaking up the juices makes me wonder if grilled marrow might make and interesting panzanella ingredient. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Jean-François permalink
    February 20, 2012 8:41 am

    Sounds like a great contrast of textures and flavors – and melted cheese, especially good strong cheese, works well in any context. You picture is mouth watering (as always).

  6. February 21, 2012 6:27 pm

    I could give this one a bite, but usually I don’t eat marrows, it still seem strange to me to see overgrown zucchini on the table, in Italy we only keep them for seeds when they get to that size! hahaha, we are fussy!

    Thank you for the Daikon link :-).

    Ciao
    A.

  7. February 21, 2012 11:58 pm

    ooh i love stuffed vegetables, any vegetable really, so this marrow looks really really good to me! I never understood why people didn’t liek marrows if they liked zucchini. haha.

  8. February 27, 2012 8:07 am

    R: Yes, I love capsicums and mushrooms stuffed!

    S: Yes, I love marrow cooked that way. We got little gem squashes and I made “wedges” by browning them in the pan. They were lovely and sweet.

    J: Thanks! I’m not actually overly fond of this pic haha…but it smelt too good, so I rolled with it!

    A: I always disliked them too, but am warming to them. I think they look really beautiful when they’re all patterned, but man I hated cooking them haha.

    SH: I think the marrows are just too juicy and get really slushy if it’s not cooked in a drying way. Although taste wise, you’re right, they really don’t taste different!

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