One of the highlights of the allotment year for me is the harvesting of the winter squashes, which usually happens a few weeks before Halloween. Not only do I love eating them, they are also a thing of beauty, and so they become a decorative autumnal display, lined up along a windowsill, looking handsome while they slowly cure. Most fruit and veg need to be quickly used, preserved or stored away before they deteriorate, so you don’t get to display it and appreciate it like you do with a squash.
I usually grow Butternut varieties, but this year I decided to be a little more adventurous and have grown a large green variety called Buttercup, and a smaller cream with green speckled variety called Sweet Dumpling. I’ve yet to try the Buttercup one, though I’m promised a bright orange interior which I look forward to uncovering, but I can vouch for Sweet Dumpling being deliciously sweet.
The first one got roasted in chunks along with some carrots, potatoes, beetroot, onion and garlic. I roasted a huge pan full, and turned the leftovers into a lovely autumnal soup. I’ve not tried using beetroot in a soup before, but it worked well. I think roasting it (with a little oil and balsamic vinegar) helped to bring out the sweetness. I’ll be making this again soon.
The photo below shows a recipe from the Guardian (20 best autumn recipes: part 1) that is another one I plan to try soon. Link to recipe here.