Translation for the USA "What can I do with a summer squash?"
My answer is "Stuff it!"
Marrows are like London busses, one minute your garden is barren and the next minute there are loads of them coming along.
Yesterday I stuffed my first one and it was rather tasty, if I say so myself.
In case you feel tempted to stuff one yourself, this is how I did it.
Stuffed Marrow with Chorizo and Couscous
1 large marrow (summer squash)
100g chorizo sausage, sliced and chopped
1 red onion
mushrooms, chopped - 3 big ones or more smaller
1 cup of dry couscous
1 lemon - juiced
1 red pepper, chopped small
2 red vine tomatoes, chopped
big handful of fresh parsley
clove of fresh garlic, squashed
grated cheese for topping
2TBsp extra virgin olive oil
a bit of spice e.g. Ras el hanout or paprika
- Preheat oven to 200C/ 390F/Gas 6
- Cut the marrow in half lengthways. Peel the skin off and scoop out all the seeds and pith from centre (discard). Sprinkle salt over the marrow and leave for half an hour. This draws out any bitter juices from your marrow. After half an hour rinse the salt off the marrow and pat dry.
- Add the cup of dry couscous to a medium/large bowl, pour over the juice of one lemon and then add enough boiling water to just cover the couscous. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Chop the onion up small and add it together with the chopped chorizo to your large fry pan in which you have heated about 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Fry for a few mins till the onion is softened but not brown.
- Add the chopped red pepper, tomato and garlic and fry for a couple of mins and then add the mushrooms frying for a couple more mins. Take off the heat.
- Once the couscous has absorbed the liquid, fork it over lightly and add the fried chorizo/vegetable mixture to the bowl too. Add a large handful of chopped parsley and a little of a spice that you fancy. I had some Ras el hanout to hand (Moroccan spice mix) but could have added a dash of paprika or cumin. Experiment!
- Lay your two marrow halves in an oven proof dish and fill both halves with all the mixture. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of each half and pop into the oven at 200C. I prefer to cover mine with foil for 20 mins and then take the foil away and leave it to brown nicely for another 15-20 mins.
- No two marrows are the same, so you need to test the marrow with a sharp knife to judge how long to cook it. The flesh should be soft but firm. It took longer than I expected so don't be taking it out too soon and blaming me because you ended up eating raw marrow!
Serve this with a nice green salad and some crusty bread and you have enough to feed 4 gannets or up to 8 with modest appetites.
Variations: add feta cheese, pine nuts, chopped fennel bulb, raisins, chopped apricots, mix up the herbs with mint, oregano and basil. So many possibilities to be adventurous with.
Love to know if you try it and like it.
Thanks AWT at the BBC for the inspiration.
Even though in his photo you can see the marrow in raw and unpeeled!