field notes

Marrow Fritters alla ‘Esterina’
May 2, 2020

I love this dish so much, it’s the only reason why I grow marrows in my garden. Come to think of it, it’s the only marrow recipe I know of. Most people I know feed the giant vegetable blimps to the swines as apparently it’s good for the meat. Maybe that’s why I like it so.

If you are not mad keen on marrows (who is?) it works just as well with oversized zucchini that have profited from lazy allotment upkeep too. It’s simple to make, but long-winded and deceptively tricky to get right. Allow for a couple of hours of prep time and one hour to cook.


1-2 Super Large Marrow (or several large courgettes)
1-2 Eggs
Parmesan Cheese (as much as you can stand)


Slice your marrow into thin disks around 3mm wide. I cut mine on the affettatrice or prosciutto slicer, otherwise, a sharp knife and a steady hand will work. Liberally salt and leave them out over racks to drain the water.

Two to three hours later, heat some vegetable oil in two large saucepans on a lowish heat. Dust your discs in flour and slowly fry on low heat in both pans. Leave until they turn golden and then turn them over one by one so that they golden on both sides. Then remove from the pan and place on kitchen towel to absorb the oil. Keep adding your discs until they are all done.

In a bowl whisk a single egg and a punch of Parmesan together until it’s a delicious gloopy cheesy mess. With a clean piece of kitchen towel, wipe down one of the pans and start adding your cooked disks, until you have filled the pan, then start piling them up on each other, until they are layered up to around ¾ inch think.  

Pour over either 1 or 2 cheesy eggs to seep into the cracks and bind the discs. Do not add too much egg! You will think it’s nowhere nearly enough, then foolishly add one more and end up with a bloody frittata. Close, but no cigar.

Cook slowly on low heat, and then grate more parmesan on top before finishing under the grill. Enjoy!

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