Sunday, 26 August 2012

stuffed marrow with fennel, pine nuts and capricorn goats cheese served with tzatziki

... marrow... the eeyore of the vegetable world...

... it's just such an odd vegetable... like a giant, tasteless sponge... i'm not trying to be difficult - I have tried it many times in many ways but it really doesn't do anything for me... but I do love courgettes and courgettes do very well with bucket loads of butter and black pepper so with a little butter and pepper love i've hopefully developed a tasty way to cook your marrow...

... my neighbours gave me 3 courgette and one marrow plant earlier this year and I planted out the courgettes with joy... I didn't bother with the marrow until The Viking persuaded me to do something with it as it was looking very forlorn in its little pot... and so out it went into a neglected corner of the garden and so far it's done exactly what I thought it would do... it's produced one miserable, medium sized vegetable...

stuffed marrow with fennel, pine nuts and capricorn goats cheese served with tzatziki
the lovely, soft-tummied Ethel sent me some more of her wonderful Somerset Goats Cheese recently as part of her #CapricornChallenge and I thought the wonderful creamy tang of the cheese mixed with some cous-cous and a few caramelised onions an fennel would work a treat stuffed into the marrow and then gently baked... the trick to getting the marrow tasting really wonderful is to cook it slightly in a vegetable stock first, this also helps speed up the baking process and leaves you with a mouth-watering marrow...

for the stuffed marrow
1 marrow
1 large onion - very finely chopped
1/2 fennel - very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - crushed
fresh herbs of your choice
4 medium mushrooms - finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes - finely chopped
a large handful of torn fresh basil
1 packet of Cous Cous - I've used the Ainsley Harriott Spice Sensation cous cous
1 packet of Capricorn Goats Cheese
a handful of pine nuts
100g strong cheddar - grated
1 lt of vegetable stock

for the tzatziki
4 tablespoons greek yoghurt
1 quarter regular cucumber - diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
the juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove - crushed

- take your marrow and halve it long-ways, scoop out the seeds and then scoop out a little of the flesh - keep the flesh for cooking with but throw away the seeds. Slice a little edge off the bottom so that the marrow can sit neatly on a baking tray without rolling over.

- simmer some water in a large pan, add some stock and gently lower the marrow halves into it - let them bubble away till the marrow is just beginning to soften - about 5 mins, take out of the water, drain and set aside on the baking tray

- dry fry the pine nuts - then set aside

- saute the onions, garlic, herbs and fennel in a little butter and olive oil until soft, then chuck in the mushrooms and marrow flesh and soften, then chuck in the tomatoes and half the basil and let it bubble away gently for 20 mins

- prepare your couscous and when ready tip this along with the pine nuts and the rest of the basil into the pan with the vegetables and mix it up, take it off the heat and crumble in the goats cheese and cheddar, stirring until combined

- spoon the mixture into the marrow halves, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven on 170C for about 20 mins or until its all golden and bubbling and the marrow is beginning to crisp at the edges

- to make the tzatziki simply combine the ingredients and season to taste

eat and of course, enjoy!



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