The Flavour Weekly: Rapeseed oil, baked squashes and kale.

This week I called in on the open day of the new business enterprise called Cornwall Food and Drink, just in time for some lunch…

There is a danger that I will begin to develop a reputation for monopolizing the food table, but I couldn’t resist as the refreshments were delicious…

For one, the delicious Crabby Jacks’ sumptuous crab pâté on fingers of brown bread; I kept going back for more…however it did have to compete for my attention along side a cup of warm mulled apple juice, a slice of duck pie and lastly Vicky’s fabulous bread dipped in Simply Oils divinely mild and slightly nutty flavoured cold pressed rapeseed oil – oh, and the requirement to be a little sociable…. (Incidentally, I’m going to learn to make bread with Vicky in a few weeks so there will be more of that later.)

Cornwall Food and Drink is a private enterprise founded by Ruth Huxley and Alex Harris, who have become best known for their joint masterminding of the popular Cornwall Food and Drink Festival held in Truro in September. Cornwall Food and Drink aims to fill the gap in the county, for organising professional and properly structured programme of events and food festivals. Making sure that food and drink in Cornwall gets the very best support and development it deserves, and is sustainable in the longer term.

On the way home I went to visit Cusgarne Organic Farm. I’ve heard so much good stuff about the quality, taste and variety of Greg and Teresa Pascoe’s organic vegetables, but never seen them so an opportunity to call in and buy myself a ‘veg box’ was too good to miss. There was such a colourful spread of vegetable varieties, the like I’d never seen…would it be wrong to compare my excitement to the rush of enthusiasm you feel when presented with a newly opened box of chocolates?

Supper was ultimately a bit of a venture into unfamiliar territory. I’d not really had the opportunity to cook squashes before and I’d come home with 4 different varieties each, which had their own flavour plus 3 different types of colourful, wonderfully curly, kale.

But, put simply, I cut one of each type of squashes in half, removed the seeds brushed them with Simply’s Cornish rapeseed oil and baked them in the oven until the softened and browned. I sauté the kale with some bacon and a little seasoning and put some kale onto the top of the squashes with a little grated cheese and grilled them for a few minutes. The end result was brilliantly tasty and packed with great flavours. In an instant the thought of having to go back to resorting to supermarket vegetables with their predictable, bland flavours and uniform shapes had me feeling miserable.

The novelty of colour and variety that had me smiling but my uncertainty had me throwing together in a careless fashion. If the ingredients are good, have flavour and a real taste of something special, the end result is quite impossible to ruin.

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