Over our Christmas break, my zucchini plant went berzerk. I can home to find 12 massive oversized zucchini, known as marrow. Marrow is one of those vegetables that our parent’s generation know well. Dad raves about them, but like most things would just boil it till it’s soft. Previously I’d boiled them with kumara and a big dollop of butter to make a light and tasty mash. This time I wanted to get a bit more creative – I asked around and heard loads of legends of amazing stuffed marrows that someone’s Aunt or Grandmother used to make. Google searches came up with some interesting responses, some recipes showed promise and provided the inspiration for this one, but trust me, some were plain weird.
This made enough to feed four hungry people, but it could also easily serve 6 or even 8-10 with a side dish.
If you’re short on cooking time you could steam, or parboil the hollowed out marrow before filling and baking. If you pre-boil, then I would recommend leaving the water out of the roasting dish.
- 2 medium-sized marrow, cut lengthways and seeds scooped out
- 1 cup long grain white rice, cooked according to packet directions
- 1 tbsp oil
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 capsicum, diced
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 cup water or beef stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of grated cheese
Place the cut marrow into a large deep roasting pan. Optional: Lightly rub the hollows with a small amount of salt. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
In a saucepan heat the oil and gently saute the onion. Once softened add the mince, garlic, cumin seeds, oregano, and paprika. Cook stirring occasionally to break up the mince. When the mince is cooked add the capsicum, tomato, water or stock and reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow the liquid to reduce before tasting and adding a little salt and pepper.
Once seasoned, leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the cooked rice. Press this mixture into the hollowed out marrow halves, then top with the grated cheese.
Pour some water into the roasting pan so that it goes halfway up the sides of the marrow halves, then place into the hot oven. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the marrow flesh is soft and the filling is hot. I served these as they are, generous marrow halves on a plate, with a douse of chilli sauce on the side. However, you could tart it up a bit with a green salad.