There are a couple of weeks every year that I savour and take full advantage of. It’s not a holiday (per se) or a special family occasion. It’s two weeks when I get to raid my parent’s vegetable garden. When they go on holiday, they ask me to pop in and feed the cats/get the post/flick lights on an off/check the locks etc.
And they always say “feel free to help yourself to anything growing in the garden” and then my dad will list off what will be ready. This year, I’ve gorged on ball courgettes and patty pan squashes.
If you were one of my parents’ neighbours, you would have seen me gleefully skipping down the thin path down the middle of their vegetable patch like this:
The latter are a variety of summer squash with thick frilled edge. The variety my dad grew were violently yellow and had a thin edible skin that makes prep and eating quick and easy. I roasted the big ones whole and stuffed them with wild boar sausage, torn sourdough bread and crispy sage leaves (sage leaves I also purloined from their garden…). The middle size ones were sliced, dusted in flour and fried. The little ones were quartered, and pickled.
I don’t have an exact recipe for this. Bear with me.
I use a quick pickling method for these little champs. I make a hot pickling liquid of 500ml water and 500ml white wine vinegar with 2tbsp salt which I bring up to a boil with half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, coriander seeds and mixed peppercorns. I washed the squash really well in warm water before quartering them and placing them in preserving jars and poured over the hot pickling liquid, making sure the squash is completely covered. Seal the jars whilst still hot and leave out until they cool completely. Store in the fridge and they will be good to go in two to three days.