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.