Thursday, April 03, 2008

Day 4 - Great Big Squash Up - Baked Gem Squash

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At work I got chatting to Frik, a colleague who comes from South Africa. This is one of the many conversations that I now enjoy at work. Office gossip has taken on a whole new vegetable dimension. Frik told me how his mum would make a Gem Squash recipe when he came home from school. He now lives thousands of miles away in London but regularly makes Gem Squash for supper, a reminder of home. He described how his Mum would boil the gem squash whole for about twenty minutes, then cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. She would fill them with creamed sweetcorn, topped with cheddar cheese and bake them. I took notes. Then at home I brought his mum’s recipe to life, for my children. Freddie asked what was for supper. “Is there no meat or fish in this recipe?” But when they came out of the oven and he tasted it, he smiled. “Tell Fric this is really good. And tell him his squash recipe gets the highest score.” We are on a roll with the Great Big Squash Up!

Baked gem squash with cheese and corn

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter

2 gem squash
250g (drained weight) tinned sweetcorn
100g cheddar cheese, grated
4 teaspoons freshly grated parmesan
(If you have ramekins, you can bake your gem squash inside them.)

Bring a large pan of water to boil. Add the whole gem squash. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove and dry. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the four halves in a roasting tray. You can sometimes buy ready- creamed sweetcorn. If you can’t find it, drain the sweetcorn kernels and blend them until smooth in a food processor, adding a tablespoon of milk. Spoon some creamed corn into the centre of each gem squash. Then divide the grated cheese between the four halves and sprinkle on top. Add a teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese to each. Place in a preheated oven at 180C for 25 minutes. The cheese will be golden brown and the squash soft.


  1. What a great looking recipe. I'll have to make a note of it!

  2. Thank you Sylvie.
    It is so easy and very much a complete meal.

  3. I do something similar - slice a little lid off, put it back on, into the oven for 20-30 minutes, then scoop out the innids, replace with herby cream cheese, back into the oven. This recipe also has its origins in South Africa (and was rather hard to do until the summer I grew the Little Gem, but they're easier to buy now)

    I very much like the sound of using the sweetcorn - it might even shame my husband into eating a decent amount of squash - he normally tastes a little, and then says: it's wasted on me ...

    LOVE this squash week


  4. I'm going to try these at the weekend. My other half doesn't like many kinds of vegetable! or cheese! So I can make these all for myself! x

  5. Louise - Enjoy them all by yourself -they are delicious!

    Jessy and Winnie - Thank you - let me know if you try them out.

    Joanna - The herby cheese sounds a good idea - or I have also tried it with tuna and then cheese on top which tasted good.

  6. Ah ha - this has just jogged my memory, for thai pumpkin custards. It's quite unusual, but basically you make a pandanus or coconut flavoured custard, pour it into baby pumpkins, steam and then cool. I can post the recipe if you're interested.

  7. Hi Charlotte, Love the squash recipes!!! I have just posted one up for you over on my Blog for Spicy Slow cooked Squash stew.

  8. I'm a big fan of squash. I haven't seen any around for a while though so might have to give this one a miss until next autumn :(

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  10. Anonymous3:15 PM

    OK...I tried this recipe, with the exception of using acorn squash instead of gem squash. Let me say that I do NOT like acorn squash. That stuff is stringy. Maybe next time, I will try the gem squash. Is there a difference?

  11. Anon - Well gem squash has a smooth consistency withouth any of the stringiness so you get something that is more like a butternut squash texture which is better - try it and see if you prefer that. I know that Freddie dislikes acorn squash but likes gem squash.

  12. ... you are making me long for home!

    Alas, there is no squash here in summer, or I would be sorely tempted to make it the way my mom made it for us as kids - cut in half with a small dollop of butter and salt. We'd mash the butter and salt into the squash's flesh with the hard skin making a natural bowl.

    The summertime alternative was spanspek cut in half with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. Now, if melons were not so expensive, that would be an option. :)

  13. Anonymous9:22 AM

    Does anyone know where I can buy gem squash in London. We normally grow it ourselves in the summer but could this year...

  14. Yolanda11:54 AM

    Also from South Africa and I can vouch for this recipe. A firm favourite! I scoop out the cooked flesh, mixes it with sweetcorn and cheese and then bake topped with more cheese. I am thinking of adding cream to the mix for a decadent alternative...


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