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It's the season to try out kamo kamo (kumi kumi)

January 16 2013

Summer is here, and that brings with it kamo kamo or kumi kumi season.  They are a type of squash traditionally used by Māori, kind of like a marrow with a touch of pumpkin. 

It’s the season to try out kamo kamo (kumi kumi)

Kamo kamo was introduced to New Zealand by early European settlers, and quickly became a staple food for Maori.  It has quite a mild taste so can be cooked in similar ways to courgette or marrow.  It can be eaten on its own (pan-fried, grilled, barbequed, baked, boiled, or mashed), added to stir fries, stuffed, or mashed with potato.  

One turned up in my Foodbox of fruit and vegetables last night, so I decided to try something new with it.  As I’ve been enjoying eggplant involtini lately, a yummy Italian dish, I tried a version using kamo kamo.

So here goes, our recipe for a Kamo Kamo twist on Involtini:

Start with a young kamo kamo (as the seeds need to be tender and edible), weighing about 600g.  Slice it into 12 rounds, about 1cm thick and pan fry these for a couple of minutes each side until slightly softened.  Place six of the slices in a layer on a non-stick baking sheet.  In the pan, cook 1 medium onion which has been finely diced.  Once the onion is softened, add 250g chicken mince and 2 crushed garlic cloves.  Cook for a few minutes, until mince is cooked.  Meanwhile, finely dice 4 mushrooms (about 80g) and mix with 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 egg.  Add cooked chicken mix to it. Place a layer of the mixture on top of the kamo kamo slices.  Top with another slice of kamo kamo, either a dollop of pasta sauce or a thick slice of beefsteak tomato, a light sprinkle of edam cheese (50g) and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C. 

So if you haven't tried kamo kamo yet, take a look for them in fruit and vege shops.  Kamo kamo involtin is a really tasty dish, or check out our recipes for stuffed kamo kamo and kamo kamo fritters.

Delvina Gorton, National Nutrition Advisor

Find our recipes for stuffed kamo kamo and kamo kamo fritters here

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