Ash & Kate's harvest of Winter squash is piled high in the manor barn.

 

In spite of their name Winter squash & pumpkins are a warm weather crop, but so called because they can be stored well through the Winter. The stored fruits (though we tend to call them vegetables, biologically they are fruits) provide nourishing food during the colder months.

 

There are many different varieties of pumpkins, some are tiny and nestle in the palm of your hand, others too big to move single-handed. There are also infinite recipes to celebrate their diversity.

 

Here are two recipes, the first recipe is inspired by the golden oval spaghetti squash packed in crates in the barn and the second is an old favourite of mine,  pair the two together for a Winter squash celebration.

 

Spaghetti squash with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichoke & feta

1 spaghetti squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion finely diced

2 cloves garlic finely diced

1 carrot diced

2 sticks celery sliced

6 sun-dried tomatoes – finely sliced

6 sage leaves finely shredded

12 pitted black olives

12 char-grilled artichoke pieces

4 oz crumbled feta

 

On a baking tray bake the whole squash in the oven  (350 F or gas 4/5) for about 45 minutes or until a sharp knife can be inserted easily. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.

 

Gently cook the onion & garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the carrot and celery and cook for a further 3 minutes, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and sage. Keep warm

 

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and using a large spoon scoop out the stringy pulp, add to vegetable mixture along with the olives and artichokes. Warm through and serve with feta cheese crumbled on top.

 

 

Pumpkin Bread.

1¾1b (800g) pumpkin cut into cubes

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2½ 1b (1 kg)strong baking flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 oz (25g) yeast

Oiled baking tray                                                                                                                                Oven 200°C

Cook pumpkin in just enough water to barely cover until tender, strain, reserve cooking liquid and sieve.  Dissolve yeast in 3 fl oz (75ml) of the cooking liquid and leave for 10 minutes until frothy.  Mix flour, salt, yeast, sieved pumpkin, pumpkin seeds and enough of the cooking liquid  together until you have a soft malleable dough.  Knead for 5 minutes, turn into oiled bowl and leave for about an hour or until double in size.  Shape into rolls and place on the prepared tray leave to double in size again before baking 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven.