Summer Crops of Marrow
As the summer continues, garden crops are beginning to be harvested. Courgettes and marrows are becoming elongated and plump, ready for the kitchen. You can use early marrows in exactly the same
way as courgettes. If you can easily press your fingernail through the marrow skin, this indicates that it doesn’t need to be peeled, and that the seeds are soft enough to eat.
Generally, the smaller the marrow, the more flavoursome it is, and the less watery when cooked. This vegetable provides a high percentage of dietary fibre, which is essential for the proper
movement of food through our digestive tracts, helping to reduce constipation. Fibre is also beneficial in keeping cholesterol at a healthy level, carrying excess cholesterol out of our bodies.
The vitamin C content in marrow helps to prevent the cholesterol from oxidising, which is when it can become harmful. Vitamin C also supports the creation of collagen, a foundational material we
need in blood vessels, muscles, and cells, further supporting the cardiovascular system, as well as encouraging healthy skin.
Low calorie marrow contains just 3.1 grams of carbohydrate per 100g, but 2.7g of protein, which is a significant contribution to overall protein intake through the day, particularly for those who
eat little or no meat.
Perhaps the easiest way you can use young marrow is to scrub well, chop and roast in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, for a delicious side dish.
If you are not keeping oxalates low in the diet, try adding a sprinkle of turmeric before roasting, to add flavour, colour and increase the antioxidants.
Beyond this however, there are an abundance of recipes and ideas for you to use this versatile vegetable, other than the traditional way of cutting into rings and steaming. Over the coming few
blogs I will share some ideas for both savoury and ‘sweet’ recipes! I will start here with the recipe that first got me to enjoy marrow back in my teenage years.
- 3 cups of chopped young, tender skin marrow
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped red pepper
- 3 cloves of crushed garlic
- optional 1-2 cups chopped fresh tomato
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh or dried herbs to taste, e.g. sprigs of rosemary, oregano or thyme, 3 basil leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano or Italian mixed herbs
- Scrub or peel the marrow and chop into 2cm cubes
- Place in a large pan with the chopped onions, pepper and garlic and olive oil
- If you have an abundance of home-grown tomatoes add these to the pan
- Add herbs, using fresh if you have them in the garden, but dried herbs work well too
- Bring the pan up to heat, and then turn to the lowest setting, adding a lid.
- Leave for 5-10 minutes until the veg are soft, checking that the pan doesn’t burn while cooking. Remove fresh herb sprigs.
- Serve as a main dish, topped with lightly roasted pumpkin seeds or as a accompaniment to grilled fish.