Marrow Special: Zucchini Bread

This recipe was given to me by an American friend, hence the name. It’s similar in texture and taste to banana bread. It will make two large loaves, but keeps well and can be frozen.

Sift together 3 cups flour (I used 2 cups spelt and 1 cup wheat), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder and 3 tsp cinnamon. In a separate bowl beat together 3 eggs, 1 cup oil, 1 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tsp vanilla essence or extract. Grate 2 cups of marrow – if the marrow is particularly large (over 1 kg) gently squeeze out some of the water with your hands. Add the sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients, then stir in the marrow and 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans until well combined. Transfer into two large greased loaf tins and bake at 170°C for 40-60 minutes or until a knife in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

The bread goes particularly well with marrow preserve!

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Marrow Special: Courgette Fritters

These fritters are easy to make and go well dipped in mayonnaise or plain yoghurt. Because the courgette has a high water content, it will cool down more slowly than the batter, so be careful when eating. Adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe. Rather than traditional deep frying, I prefer to fry these in about an inch of oil – it’s safer and less messy than deep frying on the stove top.

Slice into batons about 250 g of courgette or marrow and set aside. Sift into a bowl 50 g gram flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed, 1/2 tsp ground cumin seed, 1/4 tsp chilli flakes and 1/2 tsp salt. Slowly add 100 ml soda water, stirring continuously, until you get a thin batter. Heat about one inch of vegetable oil in a deep sided saucepan until a drop of batter fizzes and turns gold in around 30 seconds. One by one, dip the courgette batons into the batter and place carefully into the oil (they will spit – wear long sleeves and stand back). Turn after 1-2 minutes, or when the batter on the bottom side is crisp and golden brown.  Remove each fritter as it’s done and place on kitchen paper to cool.

The leftover oil can be strained in a fine sieve and used as cooking oil for other dishes.

Marrow Special: Marrow Preserve

My gardening neighbours have a glut of marrows on their hands, so I’ve been spending the summer working my way through their generous donations. This recipe for marrow preserve is adapted from Sophie Grigson’s Vegetables and is easy to scale depending on the amount of marrow you have on your hands.

Peel and slice a large marrow into 2cm cubes, discarding the foamy innermost core but keeping some seedy flesh. Weigh the prepared marrow and layer over an equal weight of sugar; cover with a tea towel and leave to soak for 20-30 minutes. Then put into a large saucepan and add for every kilogram of marrow: the zest and juice of one lemon, 9 whole cardamom pods and a heaped tablespoon of candied ginger, finely sliced, or a flat tablespoon of fresh grated ginger. Bring to the boil then simmer gently until the preserve is thick and the marrow translucent, then decant into clean, hot glass jars. 1.5 kg marrow will fill about five jars, depending on the consistency of the preserve.

The preserve should last up to a year in the back of the fridge, or longer if the jars are sterilised and sealed.