10 Dec 2006

Baby Marrow or is it Zucchini ?

Sorry about the long delay since last posting but everything went haywire this month from internet to computer to offline happenings. This entry rather short as well but hope to do better next time :-)

Whether you call them baby marrows, courgettes or zucchini they have become popular worldwide due to being easy to prepare and having a wonderful delicate flavor whether raw or cooked. Their flowers are also very popular in some areas due to being edible with a wonderful sweet taste.

Baby marrows are actually a small summer squash which archaeologists have traced development back to the Mayan diet thousands of years ago. The early explorers brought them back to Europe.

They have a high water content and a cupful, sliced and raw is only 20 calories. Ideal for a low calorie diet. They contain folate, potassium, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, Zinc, copper, beta-carotene and dietary fiber. They also contain the vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. A nutritious vegetable and therefore extremely good for your all round good health and in building up your immune system.

Purchase only firm baby marrows with shiny skins. They will last 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator. Wonderful raw in salads or blended vegetable juices or lightly steamed. They are extremely versatile.


Recipes of the Day

Easy Ratatouille
The Vegetarian Times
This streamlined version of a classic Proven├žal dish freezes well, so double or triple the recipe for future meals. If desired, stir some chopped fresh basil into the vegetables just before serving.

3 tbsps garlic-flavored olive oil
2 large tomatoes, halved and sliced 1/2" thick
1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 lb. zucchini, sliced crosswise 1" thick
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces

Heat oil over medium-low heat in large, deep skillet. Add tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Serve warm. 4 Portions.

Courgette Ribbon Salad with Spicy Beans and Spinach
by Gino D'Acampo from Ready Steady Cook

For the courgette ribbons
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp red wine vinegar
½ courgette, peeled into ribbons lengthways with a vegetable peeler
For the spicy beans and spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
½ banana shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g/3½oz spinach
55g/2oz kidney beans from a can, rinsed and drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp chopped parsley to garnish

For the courgette ribbons, whisk the oil and vinegar together in a bowl. Add the courgette ribbons, toss together to coat and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
For the spicy beans and spinach, heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the chilli flakes, shallot and garlic and fry until softened. Add the spinach and beans and cook until the spinach has wilted and the beans are warmed through. Drain out any excess moisture and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve, place the spicy beans and spinach onto a plate and arrange the courgette ribbons in a pile on top.

Green Minestrone
The Vegetarian Times

Grated Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. leeks (white and pale green parts), well rinsed and diced (4 1/2 cups)
1 cup diced carrots
1 Tbs. water
6 to 8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup small pasta shapes
19-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sliced green beans
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup fresh or frozen small green peas
1 cup diagonally sliced, trimmed fresh asparagus
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots and water. Cover and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 15 minutes. Do not brown. Add 6 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans, green beans, zucchini, peas and asparagus. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. In small bowl, mix parsley, basil, green onions and garlic. Stir into simmering soup. Add additional broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan if desired. 6 servings

Greek Fried Zucchini

2 cups 1/4" sliced baby marrows
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Add s & p to flour. Dip each slice of baby marrow into flour and fry in the olive oil until golden brown. Serve with tzatziki (a mixture of plain soy yoghurt, grated cucumber and garlic).



Jul said...

I love zucchini! They are definitely a staple in my kitchen. Recently I've been putting them in a lot of soups - I really like the texture they take on in a soup.

The flowers are one of my favorite foods of all times, although unfortunately I rarely seem to have them anymore. My grandmother used to have a garden full of zucchini plants, and the fried flowers were my favorite part of a visit to her house.

bazu said...

Baby marrow?? I'd never heard that term before! I like zucchini, but I'm always looking for new and different ways to cook it. And I've never tried the flowers, but would love to.

aTxVegn said...

I've never heard them called "baby marrow." I love zucchini and the blossoms. All the recipes look great.

Urban Vegan said...

My most popular use for zuke (as I call it) is zucchini bread--how boring. I'll have to get with the program and try some of your recipes.

Marion said...

Glad you're back, Jackie!

My favourite way to use courgettes is grilled on the barbecue, brushed with a little garlic and olive oil. It brings back Summer!

Gaia said...

When I first read "Baby marrow" I swear I read "Barry Manilow". I don't know what is wrong with me LOL

I so wish I could grow zucchinis... I think I'm under some kind of zucchini curse though because if I get to pick 5 each year, I'm very lucky.

Johanna3 said...

Thaks for the info.
Have a great holidays!

Dirty Butter said...

Just stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Tracy said...

My mom calls them baby marrows. It's very much a South African term, because no-one knows what I'm talking about here in the UK.

I came across this article looking for a recipe to use the large marrow that arrived in my veg box this morning.