Love It or Hate It?

I’ve been away for a while as The Husband and I have been on a road trip through France, Switzerland and Italy. Excitement and anticipation were high on the first morning in France – but took a little tumble when The Husband discovered I had forgotten the Marmite to put on his baguette! Searching high and low in supermarkets from Calais to Florence to no avail, we travelled extensively – until we finally found a jar on the return journey to France and home – and on his birthday! O la! la!

Marmite is a savoury spread, which was originally invented by German scientist Justus von Liebig in 1902. The scientist invented it in the UK when he discovered that brewers’ leftover yeast could be concentrated, bottled and eaten. So that’s beer and Marmite for everyone! In 1912, it was discovered that Marmite was a great source of vitamin B, so the British troops fighting in World War I were issued jars of the stuff as part of their rations. During the 1930s, English scientist, Lucy Wills, successfully used Marmite to treat anaemia in mill workers in Bombay and it was also used to treat malnutrition during the 1934–5 malaria epidemic in Sri Lanka.

Basically, Marmite has super powers!

However, despite all of the above, and the fact it is high in folic acid and very low in calories, it has always been – love it? or hate it?

Obviously, we are a Marmite household – and I’m hoping the recipes below may turn you if you aren’t.

Try these first: –

1. Add a teaspoon or two of Marmite to meaty stews, Bolognese or French onion soup to add a deep, savoury umami flavour
2. Spread over roast chicken before cooking for gorgeously golden, salty skin, or mix into mince to make delicious burgers
3. Try it on toast topped with poached eggs (always)
4. Add to hot oil before roasting potatoes
5. Marmite is a perfect partner to cheese – add a twist to Welsh Rarebit, mix into cheesy puff pastry palmiers, or bake some cheese and Marmite scones
6. Roast with nuts to make a moreish snack

Roast Potatoes with Marmite

  • 250g floury potatoes (eg, Maris Piper, King Edward)
  • 25g salted butter
  • 1 large teaspoon Marmite
  • Sea salt flakes and thyme leaves, to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC Fan) and bring a large pan of water to the boil. Peel potatoes and chop into chunks. Parboil potatoes for 10 mins. Drain, shake well to rough-up the edges and leave to steam-dry (approx 10 mins). Melt butter in a pan then whisk in the marmite. Heat until bubbling. Tip potatoes and marmite mixture into a baking tray and turn potatoes to coat. Season with freshly ground black pepper then roast for 1 hour, turning twice during cooking to ensure even browning. Serve scattered with salt flakes and thyme leaves.

Marmite and Lentil Soup (obviously this makes more than one portion but soup freezes really well – or you can keep it in the fridge to enjoy for a few days.

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger, fresh grated
  • 2 large potatoes, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 200 grams brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 440 gram can brown lentils
  • 1 tbs Marmite
  • 1 tbs lemon, juice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • greek yogurt, chives and crunchy bread (to serve)

Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry onions, ginger and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue to cook until tender. Add the coriander, cumin, mushrooms, celery, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add lentils. Season with Marmite and lemon juice. Add stock and leave soup to simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste. Serve in warm bowls sprinkled with chives, yogurt and crunchy bread on the side.

Marmite and Potato Frittata

  • 2large starchy potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbs plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 rounded dessertspoon Marmite
  • 1 dessertspoon chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, fresh chopped
  • 30 – 40g Edam cheese, grated
  • To serve, cherry tomatoes & baby spinach leaves.

Preheat oven to 200°C.  Parboil potatoes in salted water until just tender for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Heat an over proof fry pan or cast-iron dish with olive oil. Add onions and cook until lightly browned. Add the drained potatoes and stir well. Mix the eggs, yoghurt, fresh herbs and Marmite together. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix the egg mixture into the cooked potatoes and onion. Push down to settle in the dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Place oven-proof fry pan or dish in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning out of pan or taking slices out. Use a knife to run around the edge of the dish, to release the frittata. Serve with grilled tomatoes and baby spinach leaves.

Marmite Popcorn

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 100g popping corn
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon marmite
  • 2 Tbs finely grated parmesan (33g)

Preheat oven to 150ºC fan bake and line a large oven tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan on medium-high. Add popping corn and shake the pan gently to coat kernels in oil. Cover with a lid. Shake the pan every 15-30 seconds, until virtually all the corn has popped – the pops should be 2-3 seconds apart at this point. Transfer to a large bowl. Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Add marmite and whisk until well combined (this will take a couple of minutes). Pour over the popcorn and stir until popcorn is evenly coated. Add parmesan and toss to combine. Pour popcorn onto prepared tray and spread out in a single layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until crisped up. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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