IN THE SPOTLIGHT…All About the forgotten flavours (Squashes)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT…All About the forgotten flavours (Squashes)

All About the forgotten flavours at the end of the list…and this month is your last chance to squash in some squashes before next year!  Don’t miss out!!


Squash Turks Turban ~ dare I say even if you never intend to eat a squash you should grow this just for the fun of it...  shaped like a cottage loaf or as if a second squash is bursting out of the first, when this multicoloured curiosity has taken shape you just might be tempted to see what it is like when you cook it!  At this point you will discover a hidden gem with a great flavour tending towards hazelnut: it is delicious.  Perhaps it is that wonderful shape that puts people off… however do you get inside it?  With a sharp knife and care just as you need for any other squash - you need to cut the top off and scoop out the seeds before roasting for 50-60 minutes until the outside is soft.  Then you can scoop out some of the pulp: now for a filling… what about frying off celery, onions, diced carrots and sausage in butter until the vegetables are tender, drain the fat then add a little brown sugar (!) some breadcrumbs and stir in the cooked squash before stuffing your Turks Turban and bake for another 20-30 minutes.  And all served up in this truly unique squash.


Squash Uchiki Kuri   when they were quite a lot younger our children used to get this name mixed up with certain warriors that rampaged through Middle Earth…these are not fearsome creatures, indeed they are a favourite of ours and, besides their lovely flavour and being one of the easier squashes to grow, they are fun.  Bright red fruits that light up your garden – particularly if you grow them on a frame to show them off – the light-bulb shaped fruits will hang for all to see.  Now I have never found any squash to be particularly adept at climbing but then I have always used canes to make the frames and tied in the shoots as they grow.  I have heard that they are more independent if grown over hazel branches although I haven’t tried this out myself.  You will come across Uchiki Kuri sometimes called Red Kuri or Red Onion Squash (it’s that light bulb shape), it is actually a Japanese type Hubbard and popular in Japanese and Thai dishes.  The flesh is firm (never stringy) and we love roasted chip like chunks.  With numerous ways to cook each Uchiki Kuri will serve about 4 people: plenty to enjoy. 


Squash Walnut F1 ~ add this British bred beauty to your plot for reliable, early, and tasty butternuts.  This variety thrives in our mixed UK weather and the early maturity means that it is suitable for more northerly gardens too (yippee). Each plant can produce half a dozen fruits, averaging 1kg each, these store very well so you could be enjoying homegrown butternuts right through until the spring.  As butternuts are probably the most recognised and popular squashes this is certainly one to try… and perhaps you will catch the squash ‘feeling’ and this will be the start of your journey of discovery.  And why “Walnut” as the name… yes squashes can be difficult to get into (sharp knife and care) however it is the rich nuttiness of the flavour that it alludes to which is further enhances when roasted.  Butternuts also create the most wonderful soup…or bake, boil, casserole or stir fry them.


Above all enjoy your squashes