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Recently our fridge has been stuffed with big green marrows. My son Tom’s friend had an abundance of marrows and we ended up with some of the monsters.

Marrows are overgrown courgettes or zucchini. When you don’t check the garden for a few days at this time of year, this is what happens. Sometimes marrows can be watery and bland. It probably depends on the variety, and also the weather patterns. These ones were excellent. But huge!

Here’s what we did with the marrows.

bread and butter pickle

Above: Some of Tom’s excellent bread and butter pickle, made with marrow.

Bread and butter pickle

Tom made several batches of this very useful pickle, which goes equally well with cheese, or peanut butter, or chicken liver pate.

This recipe comes from my dog-eared copy of The Joy of Cooking. I usually make it with yellow scallopini rather than marrow.

Ingredients

1kg marrow, cut into pieces approx 2cm square and the thickness of a coin

2 onions, peeled and cut into thin slices

Cover with cold water and add ¼ cup pickline salt.

Let stand for 2 hours, then drain.

Bring to the boil for 2 minutes:

3 cups cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp celery seeds

2 tsp mustard seeds (either black or yellow is okay)

1 tsp turmeric powder

Add marrrow and onions. Remove from heat. Let stand for 2 hours.

Heat to boiling. Boil 5 minutes.

Pack in hot jars and seal.

Optional: add 1 or 2 slices of hot chilli to each jar.

Marrows in olive oil and garlic

Slice marrow into small coin-sized pieces.

Finely chop two cloves of garlic.

Add two or three tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy bottomed pan.

Add the garlic and then the marrow.

Saute until the marrow is tender.

Asian-style salad

1 cup marrow, cut into julienne strips

1 cup daikon, cut into julienne strips

½ a cucumber, sliced thinly

1 red capsicum, sliced into strips

2 stalks of celery, sliced finely

Dressing

Mix together

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

a pinch of salt

a pinch of sugar

Taste and add more sugar or salt if necessary.

Place vegetables in a bowl. Add dressing and mix well.

Stuffed marrow

With a tasty stuffing and a good quality marrow this is a great main dish.

One of our marrows was stuffed with leftover Bolognese sauce, bulked up with a can of kidney beans and topped with grated cheese, and it was remarkably good. (As well as being remarkably thrifty!)

Allow at least an hour to bake the marrow. You can bake some potatoes at the same time. Locally grown agria potatoes, from Richard Cato at the farmers’ market, are good at this time of year.

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