Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Marrow Matters - Summer Tart

As promised, here is another summer squash recipe. It is my personal variation on Grandma's Tart, a recipe that I found in a Waldorf School Recipe Book and a firm family favourite.  Our garden marrows keep on coming. I like to pick them small and tender. We seem to have a lot of yellow ones at the moment. This recipe is a winner, fast and easy, but delicious. 

Pick and wash a handful each of baby marrows and cherry tomatoes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. I use a pastry brush to oil my baking tray, then roll out some ready puff pastry to fit the pan. 

 Slice an onion and about six baby marrows lengthways. I use a vegetable peeler to make the slices really thin.

Wash and halve the baby tomatoes. Send a helpful family member, like my daughter, into the garden to pick some fresh rosemary.

Smear a large dollop of dijon mustard over the pastry. Be sure to take it all the way to the edge of the pastry. 

 Saute the onion and ribbons of squash in some olive oil. You could add garlic here if you like. After the marrows have softened, add the tomato halves and stir gently. 

Spoon the vegetables over the pastry. Crumble feta cheese over and sprinkle with blades of rosemary. Season with ground salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven until the pastry is golden, the vegetables are starting to brown slightly, and your family starts commenting on the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen.
 Summer Tart is scrumptious served hot or at room temperature with a little salad on the side.
It is most enjoyable to eat this meal outdoors on a warm evening and it would be complimented by a chilled glass of light white wine. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Marrow Matters - Creamy Courgettes

Barbara Kingsolver, in her wonderful book, Animal Vegetable Miracle, shares the woes of an overabundant zucchini harvest where one dare not venture out, as on returning home one will invariably find a bag of marrows on the doorstep, a doubtedly generous gift from a similarly overrun neighbour.

Yet again this summer, I am challenged to include these prolific green, yellow and stripy marrows into as many meals as possible without offense to my darling family.

Life frequently intrudes on my blogging intentions, but maybe a series of marrow solving recipes is in order. This recipe raises the humble marrow's status from sublime to sought after. It cost me no more than a trip to the garden and a little cream-begging from our dear sweet jersey cow, Rose.

 Melt a generous dollop of Rosie's butter in a large pan. Wash courgettes well and slice thinly. Keep them in rings or else they will break up during cooking.
 Add the courgettes to your bubbling butter and sauté until they are beginning to soften slightly and smell golden.
 Quickly run into your garden and pick some thyme and rosemary which you will need to rinse and finely chop.
 I use cream freshly skimmed, but bought cream is just as good, well almost.
 Sprinkle the herbs and pour the cream over the sizzling slices of marrow. Grind over some salt and pepper.
 Use enough cream to cover the bottom of the pan, but not to drown the courgettes.
 Bubble and simmer this mixture, stirring gently when you remember, until the cream has reduced right down and the marrows are very tender.
This dish is delicious served warm as a side dish for a main meal. It tastes so much better than my photograph looks. Even my marrow unfriendly son enjoys it.