Also known as courgette or zucchini, the marrow fruit is a member of the squash family. Low in calories and boasting a delicate flavour and firm texture, marrows are delicious when sliced and lightly fried in butter or olive oil with garlic or fresh herbs.
Throughout the world they are enjoyed in multitudes of more adventurous ways: breaded and pan fried, chopped up into ratatouille, and stuffed with cheese or meaty fillings. The flowers can be added to soups, stuffed and deep fried, or used as fillings for wraps or quesadillas. On the sweet side, marrow can be grated and mixed into the batter of loaves, muffins or cakes.
Baby marrows are also pretty popular with the trendy contingent of banting folk these days – the LCHF crowd has moved on from cauli rice to zucchini ‘spaghetti’. To make this low-carb dish, you simply cut long spaghetti-like strips of courgette and toss them with a hot pasta sauce of your choice. (The heat will lightly steam the ‘spaghetti’, making it tender and ready to eat.)
Also try these quick ideas to inspire you:
Toss ribbons of baby marrow with salsa verde and plate alongside olives and slices of cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with finely chopped flat-leaf parsley.
For a protein-rich side dish, combine cooked lentils with finely chopped red onion, ribbons of marrow and crumbled feta, and a dressing of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Made with puff pastry, this tart with smoked salmon, baby marrow and Simonsberg cream cheese couldn’t be easier.
You can also make your own pizza base and top it with mozzarella and charred baby marrow with chilli and lemon.
For a different take on carrot cake, use grated baby marrow instead. This tasty recipe for marrow, almond and pineapple cake with lemony icing will get you started.
One of the quickest, most delicious things to do with marrows is to cut them into long slivers and lightly fry them in olive oil. Once golden at the edges, drizzle the marrows with lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Alternatively, splash with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.
Pan-fried courgette flowers stuffed with goat’s cheese make an excellent starter or a scrumptious main course, stirred through pasta with a drizzle of truffle oil.
Pan-fried marrows are delicious when combined with pancetta and cream and tossed with fresh pasta.
Give your corn fritters a twist by replacing the corn with grated marrow, leeks, chilli and coriander. Serve with a cumin-chilli sauce.
For a light snack, top bruschetta with grilled marrows mixed with chopped anchovy fillets, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
This unique recipe by Nathan Outlaw involves making a tangy courgette and basil chutney to serve with crumbed fish and grilled courgettes.
Marrows also add that x-factor to an aromatic Asian vegetable broth.