Wednesday 20 August 2014

Courgettes, Marrows and Zucchinis galore - Let's make Veggie Bacon!

Every year it is the same. I intend to grow a couple of courgette plants (one yellow,  one green) then I sow a few extra just in case...

When they all come up, what do you do with them all. You hand some to your allotment friends, but they too had the same thought and have too many. Can't stand waste so all 6 plants end up the allotment as you never know, the slugs may eat one or two and at least you have some left over. No slugs in sight, at least not around the courgette plants so come July the courgettes come out of our ears. My boys used to ask: "what is for dinner, Mum". For weeks on end I would say, courgette soup, courgette cake, courgette bread, ratatouille, courgette curry and then one day I told them it was zucchini soup. They were over the moon. finally something different for courgettes!  (if only they knew... but I knew)

Then my friend Helen came over who also had a mass of marrows. She mentioned that she makes Vegetarian bacon out of it. I was intrigued and keen to try it.
After that day, I always have Vegetarian bacon in the house. It keeps and is a great substitute for smoked bacon and smoked salmon. I use it in soups, on pizza's, in sushi, omelets, quiches. It is really tasty and versatile.

Here is what you do.

with a thin slicer, slice the marrow length ways until you reach the seed stage.then turn around and slice away the other side etc.

Once done, make a strong salt solution (brine) and leave the slices to soak for 30 or so minutes.
Squeeze out as much water as you can and hang in the sun (on the washing line) They will shrink enormously and with some strong sunshine will dry in a day.  I have been know to leave on top of a woodburning stove in a summer without sun and warmth.

Then I sent this off to Helen, whose husband David has made a cold smoker. With some of the cherry chips I had kept after cutting down some branches of my cherry tree, they smoked the dried marrow slices and sent them back to me for us to enjoy during the following year. Delicious!

It is very strong so you need not use a lot.

A great alternative to the cakes,breads and soups. Hope it inspired you to try

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