Kamokamo, when they get big!

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Diy Food -

the right time, we got to hurl or­ange and green foot­balls over the fence and watch the pigs hoe in. Ev­ery year, plants popped up ev­ery­where due to the pigs dig­ging in the seed they had over­looked with their root­ing and the fences were adorned with the vines. A few years ago I was de­lighted to find our dear friend Jeanette Aplin, who raises kunekune on D'urville Is­land, was also grow­ing them. Help­ing her weed a patch late in the sum­mer, I came across some gi­ant shiny jew­els hid­ing un­der the seed­ing dill and pars­ley. Her kamokamo come in many beau­ti­ful shades and tex­tures, all of which the pigs adore.

The only prob­lem with kamokamo is their in­cred­i­ble pro­duc­tiv­ity. I har­vested one bucketful to dis­trib­ute to the neigh­bours, only to find an­other 10 that had been 'hid­ing' in the grass. Kamokamo are a lot like mar­rows; pick 'em young when they're zuc­chi­nis or, in the case of kamokamo, ten­nis ball-size.

My favourite way to eat them is quar­ter­ing and steam­ing the lit­tle ones and lath­er­ing them with but­ter and Hi­malayan black salt. When they get a bit big­ger, about rock­melon size, they are great baked and stuffed with mince or in a veg­e­tar­ian cur­ried lentil con­coc­tion. You can wrap them in tin­foil and cook them in the em­bers of a fire, or slice them thinly and fry them with spring onions and green curry paste.

Once they get big, they can be chopped up with a ma­chete or tom­a­hawk and roasted just like pump­kin. METHOD Cut the kamokamo and/or rampi­cante into roughly 1cm square chunks. Pop into a large bowl and sprin­kle with salt. Toss to coat and leave overnight. Rinse twice in the morn­ing. Sim­mer the spices in the white wine vine­gar for 10 min­utes, then add the veg­eta­bles and cook un­til soft but not mushy (about 20 min­utes). Shake up the corn­flour in the wa­ter and add, stir­ring con­stantly to thicken the brew, then care­fully spoon into ster­ilised jars, seal and la­bel. Let it sit for two weeks to let the flavours de­velop be­fore you dig in.

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