OK, so the winter squash, my first (curcubit) love, is long gone for the year, and it will be months until it returns*.
But, we soldier on, and there are summer squashes, melons, and other interesting squash relations to try.
Today I made winter melon soup, basically a simple, light scallion and ginger broth with shiitakes and cilantro, good for summer and also suitable for this subtle-flavoured melon. So, winter melon, aka ash gourd: once it was cooked in the soup, it just tasted like the broth but had a texture similar to raw cantaloupe. It was enjoyable but not earth-shattering. I wouldn’t mind eating it again, but probably won’t go out of my way. I did taste a chunk of it raw, and liked it a lot more – I could taste the fresh, delicate flavour sort of like an unsweetened honeydew melon but crunchy like a watermelon. I would use it in a fruit salad, or make a salsa of it with tomatoes and cilantro, or add it to a vegetable salad.
*On the plus side, one of my favourite squash farmers has planted (for the first time) and agreed to pre-sell me as many tiger stripe butternut squash as I want, come the Fall