A couple of blog posts ago I mentioned a rather large marrow that our family had recently entered into possession of. This dish is what I came up with. There seems to be little one can do with marrow, other than stuff it. To be honest, it is a rather tasteless fruit despite it being a member of the generally tasty squash family. However, it does have a great juicy quality about it which, when combined with appropriate ingredients, is rather pleasing. Indeed, in culinary terms one should consider it something of a blank canvas. I’m not sure if the Americans among us know exactly what a marrow is. Happily, I have recently been advised that it is essentially an overgrown courgette – zucchini to you defacers of the English language.
When devising and enacting this recipe, I had no idea what to expect. The result was, thankfully, pleasantly surprising. The filling packed just the right amount of punch for the juicy interior of the marrow. The cumin seeds lent a lovely warmth which perfectly complimented the underlying sweet, nuttiness of the walnuts. However, it must be remembered that when used in this way such flavours are quite subtle. As such, a strong cheese like parmesan or mature cheddar is ideally placed atop the marrow. Though, one must be careful not to overdo the cheese, otherwise its flavour may linger and overpower that of the cumin and walnuts.
For those of you who wish to make this dish but are struggling to find a marrow, I’m sure a similarly shaped squash or large courgette would fare just as well.
Walnut and Cumin Stuffed marrow
• 800g marrow, seeds scooped out and chopped into six chunks
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 heaped tsp of cumin seeds
• 100g walnuts, chopped until relatively fine
• 100g of bread
• Small handful of fresh sage
• 50g strong cheese, parmesan or cheddar
• Olive oil
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Toast the cumin seeds in a little olive oil until browned. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Tip in the walnuts, salt and pepper, then stir. Place the sliced marrow into an aptly sized oven dish and press the walnut and cumin stuffing into the space which has been left by the removal of the marrow seeds. Cover the oven dish in foil and bake for 40 minutes.
2. Food process the breadcrumbs until fine, then add the sage and pulse until it has been incorporated. Take the marrow out of the oven and scatter the breadcrumbs over the top, followed by the cheese. Season a little more and bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.
Cost: It’s rather hard to estimate the cost of this dish since we had the marrow gifted to us. Supermarkets rarely sell them. However, I think an educated estimate of around £2.60 for this entire dish is reasonable.
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