GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

Before I give you the recipe I just thought I would draw your attention to this upcoming afternoon at our Community Garden.  What Jerry is going to talk about really leads on from the previous post about the wild weather we have been experiencing, how we deal with our changing climate and how we prepare for the future – especially in regard to food security.  He is a wonderfully passionate and knowledgeable speaker and his talk Corner Stone Plants of the Future is very timely, and a must if you are in Mullumbimby this Saturday.

Zucchini tromboncino

Which brings me nicely to the trombocini* (which is what everyone calls it around here).  Related to the zucchini, it has cropped up (pardon the pun) around here for the first time this year – I have never seen it before. ( I think you can work out how it got it’s name – the very large ones really do look like a trombone).  And how they have cropped up – abundance can certainly be aptly applied to this plant.  So what does this tell me? Well, it does very well in our climate – unlike a lot of other zucchini, cucumber and squash member of the cucurbit family which get badly affected by fungal diseases and, it’s an extremely valuable source of fresh vegetable nutrients when others just won’t tolerate the wet.

What’s more – it tastes good!  Like a zucchini, but more dense, less seedy and watery – with a nutty, sweet flavour.  And there’s more – it stores very well in the fridge, and you can eat the skin – it is not bitter.

*It’s listed on Digger’s Seeds site as zucchini tromboncino (Cucurbita moschata) and being a fan of consistency and less confusion in the naming of plant names, that is what it will have to be.

It needs a trellis/pergola or support to grow over as the vine is extremely vigorous.  The fruit can grow to 1m but is best picked at about 25cm. – and you will have lots and lots of them – so best to learn a way to cook with them?


Tromboncino’ Zucchini Bake

I have been cooking this recipe for some years now – it’s very, very good.  Great for lunch or dinner and children love it – a good one for school lunches – and you can use any kind of grated zucchini.

 Zucchini Bake

2 large zucchini grated (2 cups)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup grated strong cheddar
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (can be substituted with milk)
half cup chopped spring onions/or leeks/or chives
1 and half cups SR wholemeal flour
salt and pepper
grated nutmeg
paprika or cayenne
1 or 2 sliced tomatoes for decoration

Mix all together and place in oiled, shallow dish.
Decorate with thin slices of fresh tomato (optional)
Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake in oven on 180-200 for about 25 minutes or until firm and golden.  It’s yummy hot or cold.

Dave, my supplier – blowing his own trumpet!
P.S. Yesterday my husband reminded me that it was the anniversary of our arrival in Australia, 27th February 1975 – 38 years ago and, as it was still raining we had a celebratory dinner at home.  Bangers with beans and bubble and squeak. A dinner that is guaranteed to put a smile on his face and another use for my ‘trombones’; Hayter’s Hill veal and pork sausages from the farmers’ market, home made baked beans and good old Pommie comfort food – bubble and squeak. (Let me tell you girls, the way to a man’s heart is definitely through his stomach!).

Bubble and Squeak – a great way to use up leftover vegetables and a staple dish for me when I was growing up.  We usually had it on a Monday with leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast lunch.  The Irish have a version called Colcannon and I’m sure that every potato eating country has a recipe like this all of their own.  I would love readers to add a comment with their recipe from their own culture.

Leftover potato/sweet potato/pumpkin/swede, lightly mashed – they should still be a bit lumpy – I used potato and pumpkin.  Originally just with potato.
1 onion, chopped and fried
1 cup grated zucchini (tromboncino)
1 cup precooked greens – kale/cabbage/mustard greens/spinach/chard – I used kale
salt and white pepper
Parsley – if you have it or chives/fresh tarragon (great with potatoes)

Combine together (you can add a beaten egg if you want to).
Cook flattened spoonfuls on a hot plate or in a large frying pan until golden.

NOTE:  I had to answer my husband’s phone the other day, and noticed that the screen saver was a photo of the table laid for dinner!! I rest my case.

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