There are so many different types of squash as well as the well known Butternut. At Lane End Farm they grow Crown Prince which for us are a personal favourite. It is a sweet, succulent treat and these tempting parcels will impress your guests. Use any squash trimmings to make a soup – cook in a little chicken stock and blend with cream and herbs.
Serves 4 as a starter
1.2kg squash of your choice
50g plain flour, seasoned with salt
2 eggs, beaten
70g sourdough breadcrumbs
Rapeseed oil, for deep-frying
For the lemon honey
60g runny honey
Finely grated zest of small lemon
3 tsp lemon juice
For the curd cheese
150g soft fresh cows curd
For the garnish
A handful of oriental salad leaves
Hartington Bomber shavings
Zest of 1 lemon, finely shredded
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Cut the squash into large wedges, discarding the seeds. Place on foil on a baking tray and season with salt. Wrap tightly and bake for about 45 minutes, until very tender. Cool slightly, then cut away the skin and roughly chop the squash into 3cm pieces.
2. Place the squash in a frying pan over a very low heat and cook gently for about 15 minutes to dry out, stirring often; it should break down and become pasty. Do not allow it to brown. Season with salt to taste, tip into a wide dish and allow to cool. Cover and chill for about 20 minutes.
3. For the lemon honey, in a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon zest and juice, and 40ml water until combined. Set aside.
4. In a bowl, mix the ricotta with enough milk to give a spreadable consistency, using a fork.
5. Shape the squash into 12 quenelles (oval balls) by dipping 2 tablespoons in warm water, and moulding a generous spoonful of squash between them. Place each on a tray lined with clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes to firm up.
6. Have the seasoned flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs ready in separate bowls. One at a time, coat each quenelle in flour, then dip in the beaten eggs and roll in the breadcrumbs to coat evenly.
7. Heat 6-7cm of oil in a deep, heavy pan to 200C/400F on a frying thermometer. Deep fry the quenelles in batches until golden brown and crisp – about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep them warm while you deep fry the rest. Serve with the curd drizzled with the lemon honey and salad leaves.