Marrow is a popular vegetable as it is both delicious and versatile. It can be roasted, fried, steamed, or sauteed as well as being used in many dishes. Try making marrow and carrot soup with Indian spices, or slow-cooked marrow with tomato and fennel. Stuffed marrow is very popular.
You can stuff it with vegetables and cheese or minced meat (see also Can You Freeze Mince?). You can make marrow bread and even marrow cake. They are, however, only in season in the autumn. Perhaps you would like to enjoy them all through the year so is there a solution? Yes, there is; you can freeze them and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze them and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Marrow
There are two ways to freeze marrow, either raw in cubes, or cooked as a stuffed marrow.
How To Freeze Raw Marrow
1. Peel and slice.
You don’t have to peel your marrow, in fact, it will freeze better if the skin is kept on. There are also a lot of nutrients in the skin. However, if the skin is very tough, by all means, peel it. Then cut the marrow into the shape you want. You might want slices or perhaps cubes.
2. Blanch the marrow.
Blanching helps retain the taste and texture of the marrow, as well as the nutrients. First, set a pan of water on to boil and prepare a bowl of ice-cold water. When the water reaches boiling point, put in the marrow pieces and boil for two minutes. It is a good idea to set a timer as it is important to be accurate. Once the two minutes are up, plunge the marrow straight into the bowl of ice-cold water. This stops the cooking process.
3. Drain and dry the marrow.
Once the marrow pieces are cold, take them out of the bowl and drain them. Pat them dry with paper towels. You don’t want to put them in the freezer while they are wet as ice crystals could form and the marrow will be mushy when it is defrosted.
4. Put the marrow pieces on a baking tray.
Make sure that the pieces of marrow aren’t touching each other. This will stop them from sticking together and you will be able to remove just as many pieces as you need. Put the tray in the freezer and freeze for around four hours.
5. Put the marrow pieces in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of your marrow. Put a label on the bag with the date frozen and the contents.
How To Freeze Stuffed Marrow
1. Prepare and cook your marrow as you would normally.
Cut your marrow in half and scoop out the flesh. Mix the flesh with other ingredients and put it back in the hollowed-out marrow. A delicious stuffing is tomatoes, peppers, chorizo, spices, and herbs. You could put in a chili mixture or vegan chili, or fennel (see also Should You Freeze Fennel?), pine nuts, and goat’s cheese.
2. Cool down the dish.
Take the marrow out of the hot pan and transfer it to a cold baking tray to speed up the cooling process. You don’t want to leave it out for longer than two hours as after this time bacteria can start to develop.
3. Put the stuffed marrow in an airtight container.
Put a label on the container with the contents and the date frozen. You don’t want to keep it in the freezer for longer than the use-by date.
There will be a slight texture change when you freeze stuffed marrow but it will still be delicious so if you have leftover stuffed marrow you should freeze it rather than throw it away.
Tips For Freezing Marrow
- Blanch raw marrow to retain taste, texture, and nutrients.
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag to avoid freezer burn.
- The marrow cubes may be slightly mushy when defrosted so they are best used in soups or stews rather than as a side dish.
- You can roast marrow slices together with other vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and onions and then freeze them together.
For How Long Can You Freeze Marrow?
Blanched marrow keeps for between nine and twelve months in the freezer so you can enjoy it even in the spring and summer. When it comes to stuffed cooked marrow, you have to take into consideration how long the other ingredients can be frozen. Roasted vegetables keep for around six months in the freezer. Of course, the sooner you eat your marrow, the tastier it will be.
How Do You Defrost Marrow?
If you have frozen blanched marrow pieces, you don’t have to defrost them. Just put them in your stew, casserole, or soup. If you have frozen stuffed cooked marrow, defrost it slowly in the fridge overnight and then heat it up in the oven. Make sure that it is cooked all the way through especially if your marrow is stuffed with meat. If you have frozen roasted marrow and other vegetables, throw them into a pan of heated olive oil.
Can You Refreeze Marrow?
We don’t recommend refreezing marrow. It has a high water content so when you defrost it, you will find that it goes a little mushy. If you refreeze marrow, it will become even mushier. Refreezing also increases the chance of bacteria forming and you could become sick when you come to eat the marrow.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Marrow?
Marrow isn’t the best vegetable to freeze as it does go a little mushy when it is defrosted. However, if you intend to use it in soups, stews, sauces, or baking, it will be fine. It just won’t be ideal as a side dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing marrow but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
Are marrow and zucchini the same vegetable?
Almost. Zucchini is basically a small marrow. They taste very similar and both have a high water content so neither freezes particularly well.
Is it essential to blanch marrow before freezing?
You can freeze marrow without blanching but we don’t recommend it. It will deteriorate quickly in the freezer and will end up very mushy. You will also lose some of the nutrients.
Can you freeze other squash varieties?
Yes, you can freeze all squash varieties. There are so many varieties out there including spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and pumpkin (see also Can You Freeze Pumpkin?). They all keep in the freezer for between nine and twelve months.