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.
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