Squash and Pumpkin

Basic Cooking Instructions
Large fruit – cut off required section, remove pips and fibrous section, and peel. Cut into 1cm thick slices or dice. Boil for 20-25 minutes or roast. Small fruit – cut in halves or quarters. Remove pips and fibrous section. Peel and boil for 10-30 minutes, depending on size, or stir-fry slices for 10-15 minutes, or bake unpeeled for 30-60 minutes, testing with a skewer.

Freezing Instructions
Peel, remove seeds and cut into slices or dice. Blanch for 2-3 minutes. Pack into bags and freeze. Thaw and saute in butter, or use in a casserole or soup.

Recipes
Roast Squash
1kg squash, peeled , seeded and diced ............................2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons thyme ..........................................................2 cloves garlic, sliced
seasoning
Place squash in a roasting tin. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with thyme, garlic and seasoning, and roast at 200C/Gas 6 for 20-25 minutes until tender. Serves 4.
This may also be used as the base for soup : once roasted, place in large pan with 1 litre stock and 1 tsp ground coriander, a pinch of turmeric and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes and puree. Add a swirl of cream to serve if desired. Serves 4.

Baked Squash with Cream and Gruyere
2 small squash 150ml single cream
150g gruyere, grated seasoning
sage leaves
Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Place halves in an ovenproof dish and fill the cavities with cream, sage, cheese and seasoning. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 200C/Gas 5 until tender. Serves 4.

Pumpkin & parsley soup
1 small pumpkin, peeled and diced ................1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1.5 litres stock oil...............................................4 tablespoons chopped parsley
few drops green tabasco
Fry the onion In oil until soft, add pumpkin and allow to soften slightly. Add stock and half of parsley and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree, season to taste and add remaining parsley. Serves 4-6.

Pumpkin Risotto
1 kg pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced .........................2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (no stalks) .............................1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed .......................................................300g Arborio (risotto) rice
zest and juice of a lemon .....................................................50g cream cheese or mascarpone
50g parmesan
1 litre vegetable stock – kept simmering in a separate pan
Heat the oil in a large pan / deep frying pan / wok, and fry the onion and garlic until very soft. Add the pumpkin chunks and cook for 5 minutes. Add rice and thyme, and cook for 2 minutes until translucent. Pour in a ladleful of stock and cook, stirring continuously until almost completely absorbed. Repeat in this way until all the stock has been used and the rice is cooked and the risotto has a thick and soupy consistency. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Season to taste. Stir in cheese and serve as it begins to melt. Serves 4.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t waste the seeds - soak the seeds from a fresh pumpkin in cold water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse. Spread out thinly on a baking tray and bake at 150C/Gas 2 for 30 minutes until toasted and golden. Sprinkle with salt (and/or any other desired seasoning) and serve as a tasty snack.

Pumpkin Muffins
280g plain flour....................................1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon.........................350g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and grated
175g brown sugar.................................1 teaspoon salt
3 medium eggs......................................175ml milk
85g melted butter
small handful roasted pumpkin seeds (without salt)
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases. Mix flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl mix eggs, milk and melted butter. Add sugar and beat well. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined to give a lumpy mix. Stir in grated pumpkin and seeds. Fill paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200C/Gas 6 until well-risen and firm. Dust with sifted icing sugar before serving. Makes 12