It’s funny how life throws up little coincidences at times. Whilst we’re all now used to having ads for things we’ve mentioned in conversation pop-up on our insta feeds the next day, it still happens in the analogue world, without the dark forces of Zuckerberg at play.
I mentioned to my wife that I’d kill for a stuffed marrow. They don’t sell them in Australia, you see, and it was a regular family favourite back in the old country.
Two days later, a colleague walks in with a big basket from her garden and says, “does anyone want any overgrown zucchini?”
I took the largest of the bunch and, honestly reader, had butterflies in my tummy as I stuffed it into my locker. It was a whopper. The car suspension was all down on one side as the marrow and I drove home.
Doing a bit of an internet search for a nice recipe, I came across one from Nigel Slater, who – if I’m honest – I avoid, because he gets on my tits a bit.
Anyway, with a couple of tweaks to suit what I had in the cupboard, it was done.
The marrow itself was a delicious example, with buttery flesh and a thin skin.
And, Nigel Slater, I take it all back. This recipe is a winner.
1 marrow, cut lengthways, and seeds scooped out.
250g blue/green lentils. (Puy, or Grampians Green, as they seem to be called down here), cooked until soft.
2 onions finely chopped.
6 tomatoes, finely chopped.
Harissa (or another chilli-based sauce) to taste
Green leaves, chopped (Nigel suggests chard or spinach, but I used beetroot leaves, which I had chopped, blanched and frozen a few weeks prior)
Salt and pepper.
Saute onion in olive oil, until soft and translucent.
Add tomatoes and cook through.
Add harissa and lentils.
Finally add the greens.
Fill the cavities on each half of the marrow and cover with baking paper.
Cook in a medium to hot oven until the marrow is soft.
I stuck some par-boiled spuds cut into small cubes and tossed in olive oil and seasoning in the oven at the same time, to make a nice, starchy accompaniment.