Saturday, 14 April 2012

Blue Bananas

Blue Bananas are a rare type of winter squash that I grew for the first time on my allotment last year, it is a rare trailing vine variety that seemed to like my allotment and last years weather very well. I get the seed  from an amazing little company based in Wales called the Real Seed Catalogue [www.realseeds.co.uk] who are avid seed savers. When picked last autumn it was a kind of steely blue colour but now after having been stored in my garage through winter it is no longer blue:
One of the reasons I like to grow squash is because they save, and this variety saves well !
So next I trimmed the top and bottom off, cut in half lengthwise, scooped out all the seeds and cut  off the skin.
[It is worth noting that I could not save the seeds to grow on as squash do cross pollinate and I did grow a bunch of types all in one patch]
Then having diced the flesh I ended up with about 3lb of beautiful golden squash:
 If you taste it now it has a great nutty flavour but I wanted to have a hot dinner so I am adapting a recipe from one of my favourite cook books 'wild garlic, gooseberries & me' by Denis Cotter, a beautiful book full of interesting, useful and inspiring recipes, his recipe calls for using some of the smaller and more common sweet dumpling squash but with a few changes the blue banana squash works well too despite its very different texture.
I only needed about half of the squash but that is not a problem as it freezes easily and well ~ another reason I try to grow as much squash as possible!
Squash always mixes well with the flavours of thyme or sage, this recipe combines both and also adds in lemon and cannellini beans to create what I enjoy as a regular meal.

Recipe:
1 1/2  lb diced blue banana squash
Olive  Oil
Salt & Pepper
Butter
2 Small full flavoured onions thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme ~ lemon thyme if you can get it! [strip leaves from stem]
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tin Cannellini beans
Zest  & juice of 1 lemon
4 fl. oz of vegetable stock

  • Tip the diced squash onto a baking tray and coat in a little olive oil & salt before roasting in a medium hot oven [200c] for half an hour to 45 minutes until tender but not too soft - its better with a bit of a bite.
  •  When the squash is nearly done:
  • Melt a knob of butter in a large pan and add a splash of olive oil, gently soften the onion then add in the garlic, thyme and sage and simmer gently for a couple of minutes before adding the beans, stock and lemon zest and juice. Bring this all briefly to a boil then turn it down and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  • Tip the cooked squash into a serving dish [or individual bowls] 
  • Stir a knob of butter into the cannellini bean mixture, season with pepper and pour over the squash
Eat and enjoy!
I think that this recipe brings out the great flavour of the squash while providing a fairly easy meal to prepare.
Let me know what you think

2 comments:

  1. This looks AMAZING ...can I put in a request for when I next visit? :) ...more recipes please!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you !
    You can request any meals you like when you visit, as always...

    ReplyDelete

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