In South Africa, courgettes are referred to as Baby Marrows, in America they are known as Zucchini. Whatever you call them, they taste amazing and are packed with health benefits. Cooking baby marrows with tomato and onion is my favourite way of preparing them.
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What are Baby Marrows?
Baby marrows are high in fibre, low in fat and rich in antioxidents, making them the ideal veggie for dieters.
In South Africa, these vegetables are commonly known as baby marrows, but the rest of the world seems to call them either zucchini or courgettes. No matter, it doesn’t matter what you call them, they are still delicious. As Shakespeare so aptly put it:
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
There are so many ways to prepare baby marrows, but my favourite is to braise them with a mixture of tomato and onion. The sweetness of the tomato and onion perfectly complements the delicate flavour of the baby marrow.
A helping of baby marrows with tomato and onion is the perfect vegetable to serve with any roast dinner.
- Prep time – 5 minutes
- Cook time – 20 minutes
- Calories – 69 per serving
- Main equipment – I’m sure you all have a saucepan with a lid in your kitchen, but I’m including a link to a set of saucepans on Amazon that you may like. What I like about them is that the handles and knobs are not made of metal so there’s less chance of burning yourself on them.
You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions on how to make baby marrows with tomato and onion on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
For 4 people you will need the following
- 400g baby marrows (or courgettes or zucchini)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes – you have to use fresh tomatoes. Don’t use tinned tomatoes, they contain too much liquid.
- 1 tablespoon neutral flavoured oil – Sunflower oil works well.
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to make zucchini with tomato and onion
- To prepare the marrows, rinse them in cold water, then pat dry with kitchen towel. There is no need to peel the courgettes. Slice off both ends and then slice the marrows in half, lengthwise. If they are very large you could cut them in half again. Cut each half into 1/2″ (just over 1cm) slices.
- Chop the onion and tomato into 1 cm dice.
- Saute the onions in the oil until they just start to soften. Add the tomatoes, season with salt, and allow to simmer (image 1 above). Cover the pan with a lid for the first 5 minutes and then remove the lid and continue to simmer on a low heat, until most of the moisture from the tomatoes has evaporated. This will take between 5 and 10 minutes in total.
- Go easy on the salt – there is no additional water in this dish to be poured away, so all the salt that you add will remain in the dish. You just need sufficient to flavour the vegetables.
- Once the onions and tomatoes are ready, add the baby marrows (image 2 above), put the lid on the saucepan, and continue to simmer until the baby marrows have softened. This will take about 10 minutes. Keep your eye on it. Don’t allow the marrows to over-cook or they will be mushy.
- Stir the marrows and tomato mixture occasionally to ensure the baby marrows cook evenly.
- Tip into a serving dish (image 3 above) and serve hot, alongside your favourite roast meat.
If you want to spice this dish up a bit you can add a teaspoon of chilli paste with the onions.
How to peel tomatoes
I personally don’t think it is necessary to peel the tomatoes before cooking them. The tomatoes are cut into small pieces and the skins are hardly noticeable.
However, should you wish to peel the tomatoes first, this is the easiest way to do it.
- Cut a shallow cross through the skin on the base of each tomato.
- Place the tomatoes in a deep bowl and cover with boiling water.
- Leave for 2 – 3 minutes and then pour away the water.
- Peel the tomatoes starting at the cross that was cut into the base. The skins should slip off easily.
Can I freeze baby marrows?
Yes – freeze in individual meal -sized amounts in a zip-loc bag or plastic container.
To use, allow to defrost in the fridge.
You may find that once defrosted, the marrows have released a lot of water. Just pour this water away before re-heating or the dish will be too watery.
Reheat either in the micowave, or bring it to the boil in a saucepan on the stove. Once it has boiled remove from the heat and serve immediately to ensure the baby marrow does not overcook.
In addition to serving these baby marrows as a side vegetable, they make a delicious pasta dish.
Just mixed the cooked marrows, along with the tomato and onion sauce, with a dish of your favourite pasta shapes. Cover with grated cheese and grill or broil until the cheese has melted.
Cooking the marrows in this way also makes a great side dish to serve at a barbeque.
Other vegetable dishes you might enjoy
I love vegetables, and luckily, so does Graham. Left to his own devices he’d just pop a few veggies in the steamer and serve them like that. I’m gradually bringing him round to my way of thinking, that vegetables don’t have to be bland and boring.
Here are a few of my other vegetable recipes you might like to try
- Mushy peas – my favourite way of serving peas. They go perfectly with a slice of fried fish, or a plate of meat and potato pie.
- Crustless vegetable quiche – this quiche also contains baby marrows.
- Butternut stuffed with cheese and corn – this was a favourite addition to a barbeque when I lived in South Africa.
- Air fryer mushrooms with balsaic and garlic – yummy!!!!
- Mashed green beans – otherwise known as boereboontjies. These have become a firm favourite with Graham – he says they remind him of bubble and squeak 🙂
- Easy sweet pepper relish – a delicious relish that is perfect to serve at a barbeque
- Creamy leek and brussels sprouts bake – a fantastic way of serving brussels.
- Buttered cabbage with leeks and mustard seeds – cabbage made perfect!
Don’t forget to check out my handy Cookery Conversion Calculator if you want to convert any of your recipe measurements from grams to cups, ounces, tablespoons or millilitres and vice versa. You can also use the calculator for converting oven temperatures between Fahrenheit, Celsius and Gas marks.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read all about it in this post on baking at high altitudes.
Pin for later
Why not pin this recipe for baby marrows with tomato and onion to your pinterest board so you can make it later. Just click the image below.
Recipe – Baby Marrows with tomato and onion
Baby Marrows with tomato and onion
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping Board
- Serving dish
- 450 g (1 lb) baby marrows (or courgettes or zucchini) chopped into 2cm chunks
- 1 cup diced onion cut into 1cm dice
- 1 cup diced tomatoes cut into 1cm dice
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil for frying the onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the tomato and onion into 1cm chunks.
- Chop the baby marrows into 2cm chunks.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a saucepan and add the onions.
- Fry gently until the onions start to soften (about 4 minutes).
- Add the tomatoes and a sprinkling of salt. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue to simmer until the moisture from the tomatoes has almost evaporated. This step should take about 10 minutes altogether.
- Add the baby marrows t the tomato and onion mix, stir and cover
- Continue to simmer until the baby marrow has softened. This will take approximately 10 minutes on a low heat.
- Taste for seasoning and add extra salt ad/or black pepper if needed.
- Tip into a serving dish and serve with your favourite roast meat.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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