What is a marrow?
A marrow is a cucurbit, which means it’s from the same family as the melon, cucumber, squash and courgette. The marrow is actually a courgette that has been left on the plant to grow a little longer; likewise, if you pick a marrow when small, it’s classed as a courgette. Marrow has a creamy flesh, edible skin and seeds, and a mild flavour.
How to prepare marrow
You can steam, bake, boil, fry or roast marrow. The stripy skin is edible, but if you are roasting or frying you might want to remove the seeds and stringy middles so you can just enjoy the flesh.
How to cook marrow
Marrow is a blank canvas, so it works well with strong flavours – think citrus, chilli, garlic, bacon, spices and robust herbs, such as rosemary and thyme. Stuff them and cover with cheese, mash into savoury dishes or grate into cakes. You can also turn marrow into chutney to serve alongside cheeseboards, ham or curry. Check out our top 6 ways to serve marrow for more cooking inspiration and get stuck into our ultimate marrow recipe collection.
How to store marrow
Keep refrigerated in a vegetable bag, if you have one, and use within three days.
When is marrow in season?
Marrows are in season in August and September.
Choose the best marrow
Size matters – a huge marrow is best reserved for a horticultural competition. Hunt out the smallest marrow you can find; it should be no bigger than your forearm. Large marrows will taste bitter and have a watery consistency.
Alternatives to marrow
Try courgette or squash.
Our top 5 marrow recipes
1. Slow-cooked marrow with fennel & tomato
This hearty slow-cooked marrow with fennel and tomato makes a deliciously comforting veggie supper. It even provides four of your 5-a-day in one go. Serve with a couple of slices of chunky sourdough bread for mopping up the juices.
2. Maple-roasted marrow on cavolo nero salad
Take this humble veg to the next level by roasting slices of fresh marrow with maple syrup and garlic, then top with crunchy hazelnuts and breadcrumbs for extra texture. Our easy maple-roasted marrow on cavolo nero salad is a great healthy family dinner option.
3. Marrow & pecan cake with maple icing
Turn this veg-patch hero into something sweet with our simple marrow & pecan cake with maple icing. The grated marrow keeps the cake moist and gives this homely bake great texture. Top with smooth cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans.
4. Marrow & ginger jam
Stick to the traditional with this flavourful marrow & ginger jam. If your allotment is overflowing, whip up a batch of this warming jam with a hint of zesty lemon. Read our advice on how to sterilise jars to keep your jam in tip-top condition.
5. Stuffed marrow bake
Keep things simple with our stuffed marrow bake. Our budget-friendly recipe makes a satisfying family dinner. It can be prepped in 10 mins and uses just a few storecupboard ingredients.