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

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.

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