Gem squash is one of South Africa’s most popular vegetables – try out these two recipes. Creamy corn cheese filling and Savory mince cheese stuffing.
GEM SQUASH WITH A CHEESY SPICY CREAMED SWEETCORN FILLING
This South African childhood favorite of gem squash filled with creamed sweetcorn gets an adult twist with some spicy peri-peri sauce.
INGREDIENTS: (Serves: 4)
2 gem squash
2 large spring onions
1 large clove of garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 x 14 oz. (400g) tin of creamed sweetcorn
1 tsp hot sauce of your choice (optional)
½ cup grated mature cheddar cheese
Slice the gem squash in half around their equators. If saving the seeds to plant, remove the seeds before cooking, otherwise go ahead and place them in a steamer over a pot of boiling water. Steam until a knife can pierce the flesh easily. Remove the seeds with a spoon if you have not already done so. Keep warm.
In the meantime, slice the spring onions into small rounds and crush the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a small pot and sauté until the spring onions are soft and translucent but not caramelized. Turn down the heat, add the creamed sweetcorn and hot sauce, and heat through.
Place the gem squash cut side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Fill each hollow where the seeds were with as much of the sweetcorn mix as will comfortably fit.
Divide the cheese among the four gem squash halves and sprinkle over the sweetcorn. Heat under a medium grill until the cheese begins to bubble and brown.
SAVOURY MINCE STUFFED GEM SQUASH
2-4 gem squash
14 oz. (400g) lean mince (beef/turkey/pork)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
± half a tin of chopped tomatoes
a splash each of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch each of basil and thyme
1 slice of bread, crumbed
grated cheese for topping
Prepare and steam the gem squashes. While they are cooking, fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Add the mince and fry gently until cooked. Add the chopped tomatoes, the sauces and seasonings – taste to see if anything else is needed. Chopped chilies can also be added if your taste runs to spicy. When the meat mixture is heated through, place the gem squash halves on a baking sheet and scoop out the pips, leaving the flesh. Fill the hollow of half with the meat sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese and top with breadcrumbs. Grill until the cheese has melted and the crumbs are browning, then serve with a big green salad and wait for your guest to fall hopelessly in love with you.