Gem Squash – a sumptuous vegetable.

Hello again…

….so two posts in one week! Not bad huh?

I wanted to share with you this fabulous vegetable which I grew up with back home in Africa. It is simply the most wonderful squash going and I haven’t seen it in the UK for a long time, so imagine my joy when I was shopping for my weekly veg at the local green grocer and I stumbled upon this wonderful delight. I couldn’t contain my excitement and immediately bought 8 (yes I know, maybe a bit of overkill, but seriously, if you hadn’t eaten something in 12 years, wouldn’t you buy way to many?! ).

So I cooked them and then my husband and myself ate them for dinner with roast pork, and oh my was it everything that I had dreamt about and more, it took me back to the days when I was a kid and was sitting around the dining room table wondering what vegetables we were going to get that day, if it would be the dreaded broccoli or the divine gem squash.  So, needless to say, I was very happy. My husband who is also from Africa, was equally delighted with the gem squash. So do yourselves a favour, go to your local green grocer and ask them for this wonderful vegetable, you won’t know what you have been missing out on until you have tried them!

This is what they look like –

Lovely and green

Lovely and green

Now for the recipe…

Gem Squash – how to cook them:

  • 4 Gem Squash (basically allow 2 per person, so if 5 people, then 10!)
  • Salted butter for putting inside
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cut off the little stem at the top of each one, it should come off fairly easily, then cut each gem squash in half.

Pre pip removal

Pre pip removal

2. Remove all the pips using a teaspoon (basically the same way you would for butternut squash), so you end up with something looking like this:

Ready for boiling,

Ready for boiling,

3. Place all the gem squash in a large pot (it doesn’t matter if they are on top of each other), fill the pot with cold water ensure that you cover the gem squash. They will float, but that’s fine, as you will put a lid on top, so try to ensure that you don’t overfill. Kind of like the picture below.

Ready for boiling

Ready for boiling

4. Bring to the boil and when the water starts to boil, set your timer for about 10 mins, basically you want them to be nice and soft but still retain the shape, if you over boil, the skins will be soft. The easiest way to tell if they are cooked is to gently put a sharp knife into the yellow flesh and if it slides in easily, they are ready, if there is a bit of a resistance, then boil for a few minutes more. Once cooked they will look something like this –

Just out the pot.

Just out the pot.

5. Then take your salted butter (or whatever you have non salted is just as good) and put a nice little knob of butter in each of the cavities of the gem squash. Something like this –

Ready to be eaten.

Ready to be eaten.

6. Season with a bit of salt and pepper – I reckon if you added a bit of grated cheese to it, it would be delicious and serve. If you are dieting, then don’t add the butter, just season well, it will still taste divine.

7. Everyone has different ways of eating it, I like to use my fork and scoop it all out onto my plate to eat alongside all the rest of my food, my partner prefers to eat it out of the skin scooping out all the lovely flesh. Either way is fine – it really is up to you, word of warning though if you do eat it out of the skin, it is very hot when it just comes out the pan, so be careful.

Well, that’s it from me for now, I hope to be back later this week with my Great British Bake Off bake along entry, so look out for that and if you do decide to make these, please let me know in the comments below. I hope that you like them as much as I do.

Till next time.






7 thoughts on “Gem Squash – a sumptuous vegetable.

  1. Pingback: Gem squash | kensonsfarm

  2. Thank you so much! I love the way you write. I live in Africa now and I kept wondering what are those green things? I mustered up courage to ask a woman that was buying them today and she explained that they are just like Squash! (which I love) so now I ended up on your blog to understand how to cook them! Can’t wait!

  3. I boil them in the skin after pricking with a fork, takes longer but the result is less soggy. If they are young the skin is also edible the seeds aren’t bad either with butter and salt! This is the only veg my kids get excited about at home here in Zambia. We tried growing them on our organic farm but they were few and far between and tiny.

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