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Monday, April 25, 2011
MARROW VEGETABLE ( MARROW SQUASH) - BENEFITS AND HOW TO USE: STUFFED BAKED MARROW RECIPE
The marrow is grown mainly in Britain where there are competitions for the world’s biggest one. In 2005 the record-breaking marrow was 62 kilograms, but this was overtaken in 2008 by a record-breaking 63 kilogram marrow, grown by Ken Dade and entered in the annual National Amateur Gardening Show in Somerset. His was a knobbly-skinned marrow, but the more usual marrows are dark green with paler stripes on their skin. They are a bit like a watermelon to look at and are related to these melons as they are to other melons, cucumbers, pumpkins and squashes and gourds.
The seeds from the marrow can be used like pumpkin seeds and eaten raw, or dried and dry-fried as a snack, mixed with other seeds for variety. The seeds can be ground into a paste or dried and made into flour for making bread. They share the same history as the courgette or zucchini, originating in Central and South America where they were cultivating their ancestors, giant pumpkins as early as approximately between 7000 to 5500 BC. Columbus took seeds with him to Europe and Africa, and while the Italians are credited with breeding the courgette, the Britons preferred the larger fruit, the marrow.
Like the courgette they contain vitamins A, C and K as well as some B-complex vitamins and are potassium and magnesium rich; for further details go to our courgette post.
They can be baked, boiled or steamed, but can be mushy when boiled. Stuffed marrow are good as they can be stuffed with bolognaise sauce or sausagemeat, whichever you prefer. You can also cut them into rounds and top with grated cheese and bake the slices until they are tender (Gas Mark 5 or 190° C). Older larger marrows tend to be bitter, so try to find smaller ones to bake. Cut into chunks they can be steamed for 10 to 15 minutes until they are tender. You should cut a marrow in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds before filling it. Chilli, cumin seeds thyme and sage all go well with marrow and pep up its taste. Try the recipe below.
STUFFED BAKED MARROW
500 gr minced beef
2 medium onions chopped
2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
3 tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 dessertspoon chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
oil for frying
a little water
Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.
Add the meat and stir, cooking until brown, then add the other ingredients and stir well to mix, cooking them for 3 minutes before stuffing this mixture into the marrow halves.
The oven should be heated to Gas Mark 5 or 190° C and you should cover the marrow with aluminium foil or place the two halves on top pf each other and secure in place with string, and cook for about an hour. The marrow should be tender when pierced with a fork.
This has Taste and is a Treat.