Trumpeting the Virtue of Vertical Vegetablescomments (0) September 17th, 2010
One of the advantages of being a member of the Garden Writers Association is getting free seeds and plants to trial in my own garden. This season I tried several new-to-me vegetable varieties and was especially pleased with the Trombetta di Albenga climbing Italian summer squash from Renee’s Garden.
I planted seeds in June and thinned to three plants that produced long vines with beautiful large, ivy-shaped leaves. I let two of the plants ramble through the garden, and I trained one to grow up and over an arbor. Even if these plants didn’t produce a delicious fruit, the vines are spectacular.
Trombetta is an Italian heirloom summer squash that resembles its cousins in name only. Long, light-green fruit grow into curvy squash with a distinct trumpet shape. The seedless fruit has a mild, almost nut-like flavor that’s sure to win over those who say they don’t like squash.
The fruit is best when it’s harvested at about 12-16 inches long, but I let one grow to almost 3 feet and it was still tender and tasty.
The squash can be used in any recipe that calls for summer squash, including sautéing, stuffing, and baking. I cut the long fruit into 6-inch sections, split the sections in half, brushed them with olive oil and placed them on the grill to roast until tender. The result was a satisfying side dish scored with toasty grill marks.
Another advantage to growing this variety is that the vines are so prolific there’s plenty of out-of-the-ordinary squash to share.
posted in: heirloom vegetables, summer squash