Squash come in all shapes and sizes. Along with pumpkins, they are part of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with courgettes and marrows, but are distinguished by the fact that their fruits are harvested mature and can last very well, making them a useful staple through Autumn and Winter (and often beyond). Squash has been a staple for the Native Americans for more than 5,000 years.
We sow our squash in small pots in late April for planting out in mid-May. They will not tolerate frost and we sometimes use crop covers to get them off to a good start. We grow a range of squash including sugar pumpkins, butternut, kabocha, and crown prince. They bruise easily so harvesting involves gently hand placing each one into straw-layered wooden crates.
Unlike most veg (though technically they are a fruit), squash are happier in a snug kitchen than a fridge, so make the most of this by using them as a rustic decoration: perhaps piled together in a tumble of colour on a kitchen table, or cheerily dotted along a windowsill. Tasty and pretty – now that’s value for money!
To prepare squash, knock off the stem and push a sharp knife into the centre. Work it around and split the squash in half. If the skin is too hard for a peeler, use a knife by placing the squash half face down on a board, working round with a knife and cutting the skin off.
Make sure you never put a whole squash in the oven as it will explode. Cut it in half and de-seed first. The seeds and inside
trimmings from squash can be added to homemade veg stock to add a vibrant colour.
We offer a seasonal squash box which includes a 7kg assortment of different squash in an array of colours. Visit www.riverford.co.uk to find out more.
We think great food tastes even better when you enjoy it with other people, so you will share your table with fellow diners for a feast of the freshest seasonal produce from our fields.
Uniquely, there is just one sitting and the whole restaurant is served together at the same time.
For lunch we start things off with a seasonal salad followed by creative vegetable side dishes and one meat dish served to the table for you to pass around and share. Portions are generous and there’ll be plenty to go round. When it comes to pudding, we’ll invite you up to the kitchen to choose from a wickedly tempting selection.
Supper is a slightly more lavish affair with four vegetable anti-pasti dishes to start your evening. We are fully licensed and have a selection of organic wine, local juices, beers and cider, as well as some spirits.
We are a family-friendly restaurant and children of all ages are very welcome. There is a toy box with children’s books, colouring sheets, baby changing facilities, highchairs and large lawn for kids to run around on. We don’t serve a children’s menu, they will share the same food as adults. Children aged 3-12yrs are half-price and infants under 3yrs are free of charge.