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GEM SQUASH THREE WAYS

GEM SQUASH THREE WAYS

The taste of spice in my bobotie squash, served with a creamy/nutty-buttery sage squash purée and for the sweet tooth… honey roasted gem squash with a drizzle of cashew nut garlic paste… what more to ask😏

GEM-SQUASH BOBOTIE

  • 4 gem squash, halved and seeds removed (cook halfway till soft but still firm)
  • 1 onion, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) oil
  • 500 g mince meat
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) curry powder
  • 2 ml (½ teaspoon) ground cumin
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) chutney
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) apricot jam
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 1 slice bread, soaked in 125 ml (½ cup) milk
  • 2 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil until golden.
Add mince, curry powder, cumin, chutney and apricot jam and fry until
cooked through.
Season with freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste.
Squeeze milk from bread (keep milk), add to meat mixture and mix through.
Top gem squash with bobotie-mixture.
Lightly whisk eggs, add to leftover milk and mix.
Gently press a rolled up lemon- or bay leave in middle of bobotie mixture.
Pour egg/milk mixture over bobotie.
Oven bake 35-40 minutes until gem squash is soft and your milk mixture is set.

NUTTY SAGEY GEM SQUASH PUREE

This creamy squash puree is blended with butter for a deliciously rich and nutty flavour.

  • 4 large gem squash, steamed and seeded – flesh only
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup cream
  • 10 big leaves of sage, shredded
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper

Melt the butter in a medium pot and get it hot until it goes nutty brown.
The moment it turns brown, add the sage and stir it in as it crackles and spits
Quickly add the cream and bring it to the boil then simmer it gently until it reduces by half.
Now add the flesh of the squash, crushing and stirring it gently with a wooden spoon over the heat until the cream and the moisture dry up and the mix is thick and holding its shape.
Season it with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

HONEY ROAST GEM SQUASH WITH CASHEW NUTS

  • 1-2 gem squash, cut in half, seeds removed and cut into even sized wedges
  • 200 g fresh cashew nuts
  • Feta cheese, for crumbling
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, bruised, lightly squashed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 4-6 teaspoons good quality oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the prepared gem squash on a griddle pan, drizzle over a little oil and honey. Season with salt, pepper and one teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves and toss to combine. Roast until golden and tender turning once through cooking.
Whilst they are cooking place the nuts on another baking tray and toast lightly in the oven for 2-5 minutes. Give them a shake to move them around a little. You need to watch them as they will colour fast and you don’t want blackened nuts as they are bitter. Remove and set aside to cool.
In a mortar and pestle, add the garlic clove and rosemary and pound to a paste. Add the nuts and crush together. Then add a drop of red wine vinegar, spoon of honey and drizzle in enough olive oil to form a thick paste. Taste for seasoning and then adjust for balance it should be evenly flavoured.
Serve the hot roasted gem squash with the cashew nut paste drizzled over. I also like to scatter over feta cheese and a few wild rocket- or any robust peppery leaves as it adds freshness at the end.

Recipe and photo:  Elize de Kock

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