The humble marrow feels very much the ugly duckling of the gourd family. Sometimes its sheer cumbersome, hulking bulk is enough to put you straight off – it feels as if you’ll be ploughing through the stuff for days, and most cooking methods don’t bring out its best.
But marrow is very much a keto-go-go vegetable! At circa 1.9g net carbs per 100g, it’s super low and is therefore perfect for diabetics, ketogenic dieters or anyone simply wishing to beat the bloat! And add to this, it’s abundant and hugely economical at this time of year – no other vegetable packs as much punch to the pound!
I always think that the best way to prepare marrow is mashed. It has the luxuriant feel of mashed potato, but none of the starch!
Start by cutting your marrow into large chunks (skin on). Remove the seeds with a spoon and place the portions onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season well and into a hot oven they go for 40 minutes to an hour, until the flesh is soft and starting to brown at the edges.
Remove from the oven and scrape the flesh into a casserole dish with a soup-spoon. I find this is best done by picking up each piece in turn and holding it with an oven glove. The flesh should come out incredibly easily, leaving the tough skins behind which can simply be discarded.
Add a knob of salted butter to the pan, followed by a generous handful of grated cheese. I also add a good dollop of English mustard for background depth, but that’s entirely up to you.
Check the seasoning and add more if required, then mash out the lumps with a potato masher or fork. Back into the oven it goes for circa 20 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown and bubbly.
Hey presto – our ugly ducking’s a swan!
Thanks for reading and bon ap!