The second marrow I had to stuff this autumn was enormous; about 18″ long and with much of it’s diameter 6.5″, I knew I was going to need a lot of stuffing.
I made double quantity of my cheesy, nutty stuffing but it wasn’t enough; about a third of my marrow was still unstuffed. In desperation I trawled my cupboards to see what else I could make a stuffing with, the result was more successful than I had dared to hope. The recipe should give enough stuffing mix for most store bought marrows.
- 4oz/115g wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 6oz/170g ground almonds
- 2 chunky carrots, grated
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh or frozen parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh or frozen coriander leaf
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and set aside.
Slice marrow into 1.5″ to 2″ rounds, scoop out seeds and pith.
Place marrow rounds on a lipped baking tray or in a roasting dish, stuff, bake for about 1 hour.
Having used all of my frozen soup supply I decided it was time I tried another soup. I wanted to try something different, something I would have minimal preconceptions about, and something that wasn’t going to be too heavy given current heat and humidity. I also wanted a soup that had a reasonable protein content as I was going to be eating it as a main meal rather than as a starter. I hadn’t used The Book of Vegetarian Cooking for a while, so I decided to look at it’s soup section first; I didn’t need to look any further, there were two interesting sounding options on the very first page.
Fennel and walnut soup
I considered making watercress and almond soup but, on reading through both recipes, decided on the fennel and walnut, The recipe book recommended serving it with sage derby puffs but, since I can’t think of a good sheep or goat’s alternative to sage derby and I’m having a lot of fun with a new bread maker, I opted for a rustic French style bread instead.
This was a really simple soup to make. The challenge was in the way the recipe is written, as the instructions for the sage derby puffs and the instructions for the soup are interwoven; personally I’d have written it out in four paragraphs, rather than the two used in the book, to make it easier for a less confident chef to follow. I probably shouldn’t complain, my soup making went without a hitch and the end result was delicious. This is a delicate, slightly earthy soup with almost a mushroomy hint to the flavour.
The recipe suggests it makes four to six portions, I’m assuming they must mean as a starter. I got two portions eating this as a main course which I followed with a portion of gooseberry crumble. I’m about to make another batch to put in the freezer.
4 out of 5 for ease of making (it would have got five if better written).
5 out of 5 for flavour.
Still in season, still locally grown, I had to try another asparagus dish this week. The indulgence levels crept even higher this time though, with fennel and baby leeks amongst the vegetables creeping in with some double cream to accompany the asparagus. Following it with strawberries was pure decadence.
Pasta with Spring Vegetables
I didn’t quite follow the recipe as written; Vegetarian Classics would have had me boil each of the vegetables, one after another, in the same pan of water then keep them warm while cooking the pasta and the sauce, instead I steamed them together and cooked the rest of the dish towards the end of the steaming time. My approach worked perfectly well and seemed simpler.
The sauce called for fresh mixed herbs so I raided the garden. In addition to the suggested parsley, thyme and sage I used lemon thyme and oregano. The lemon thyme particularly worked to compliment the fennel and asparagus and even in less extravagant suppers I will be combining those flavours again. Asparagus and lemon thyme omelette is crying out to be created.
As is often the case with vegetarian cookery books, Parmesan was the recommended garnish for this dish; I’ve said it before and will no doubt find myself saying it again but Parmesan is not vegetarian. I have had this cookery book for 10 years so perhaps more recent publications have finally started getting this right! I’d have been substituting on the cheese anyway as cows’ milk doesn’t like me but it does irritate me when vegetarian recipe books specify non-vegetarian ingredients.
3 out of 5 for clear instructions and ease of cooking (too much faffing about as written)
5 out of 5 for flavour