A Cook's Plot

Vegetarian & Vegan

Rich Courgette (or Marrow) Ragout

A real taste of summer that's fab served just with hunks of crusty bread, or with mashed potatoes and green beans on the side.

If you’ve got a glut of courgettes at the moment (or if some have been overlooked and have turned into marrows), you just have to make this! It’s so delicious - a real taste of summer that’s fab served just with hunks of crusty bread, or with mashed potatoes and green beans on the side.

I couldn’t understand why one of my green courgette plants seemed to have stopped producing fruit recently - until I discovered, well disguised under the foliage, one that I’d missed and that had grown to 2ft long. The plant was clearly putting all its energy into it as it weighed 2kg - when I brought it home to wash it, it was like bathing a (small) baby! I was cross with myself for missing it at the time, but I’m glad I did or I’d never have come up with this recipe. It’s equally as good made with courgettes, but I’ve started leaving the odd one to get a little oversized just so I can make another batch of this with it.

The key thing with this recipe is to make it a day ahead as it will be much more flavoursome if it’s been allowed to cool and is then reheated.

(Thank you to Janette, whose allotment plot I was looking after while she was away last week, for the extra ones I was able to pick from hers too!)


Serves 4

  • 1 marrow, peeled and sliced into rounds about 1.5cm thick then cut into chunks (or 4 courgettes, sliced)
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • half a fresh red chilli, chopped and deseeded
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 bulb of fennel, sliced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped


If using marrow, put the slices in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 30 mins to get rid of excess water (this will help the marrow absorb the other flavours more). There's no need to do this if using courgettes. Rinse and drain well.

Fry the leeks in olive oil until almost tender, then add the fennel seeds and rosemary. Stir around for a minute, then add the garlic, chilli and fennel bulb slices, along with the marrow or courgette slices. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then turn the hear right down and bubble gently for an hour until the marrow or courgette is very tender.

A Cook's Plot Tip

This is best if it's cooled and reheated, so make it the day before you need it as the flavours need time to develop. It also freezes surprisingly well (use it within three months for the best flavour).

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