Where did I get this?
From my neighbors. They grow lots of neat stuff in their yard and on their fence every year. When my husband (the gardener at my house) expressed interest in these crazy long things – they promptly picked one for him. He brought it home to me like a proud schoolboy “Here – she says to cook this in soup!” My response was..”What is it and can we eat the skin and the seeds, if it even has any?” I sent him back down to ask our friendly Vietnamese neighbors since he has a flare for languages and is probably fluent by now. Me – I can’t even understand his Massachusetts accent most of the time.
How did I cook it?
It is a cliché but if in doubt add pork fat! I found out from the neighbors that the seeds are okay to eat but they suggest skipping the skin. I did a little research on my own and read that it is similar to a zucchini and a cucumber. Soup seemed to be the most popular use of it. There is a terrific recipe here. Stir-fry also seems popular. Here is a link to a beautiful one. But I am not much of a soup-maker and … I decided to split, stuff and roast it. My favorite way to have zucchini. After washing, splitting and coating it with olive oil; I stuffed it with sautéed onion, sweet red pepper, mushrooms, garlic, ground pork and chopped fresh oregano, basil and parsley from the garden. Leave out the meat and add beans, rice or more chopped veggies for a vegetarian option. I roasted it at 400 degrees for 30 mins. (45 would have been better) I topped it in the last 10 mins with toasted breadcrumbs, grated Romano cheese and another drizzle of olive oil.
How did it taste?
Pretty good – mild like a zucchini but a bit juicier. Strangely “refreshing” like a cucumber.