My New Favorite Summer Squash 'Tromboncino Ripicante'

winane(z9 CA)July 12, 2005

This is a new summer squash for us this year. I read about it in one of the forums here. I just had to try it. It is soo sweet and yummy. There is a hint of artichoke flavor. But what I love about it is that the texture is almost stringy like spaghetti squash but so much yummier. The seeds are only in the bulb. We harvested when it was about 16 inches long and still it was sweet and tender inside. I just sauteed it with garlic, salt and pepper and a wee pinch of sugar to bring out the flavors. Between the two of us we almost ate all of it!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

I prefer Trombocino Rampicante sauteed with garlic, too. I picked mine smaller than you did. When small, they have a mealy texture when steamed.

When they get to the winter squash stage, they seem quite similar to spaghetti squash to me. I baked them then. I grew TR on a fence with Cucuzzi gourds last year. A good combination for variety.

I am not growing TR this year because I have several winter varieties of C. moschata (butternuts, Tahitian squash and Rumbo Korean pumkin). TR and the winter squashes of this species cross-pollinate, adversely affecting both. I'm doing some little hybridization experiments on a few fruits of the winter squash. Unlike the C. pepo squashes and pumpkins, cross-pollination of C. moschata squashes seems to affect the shape and quality of the fruit the year you cross-pollinate. Like corn. Maybe it's just natural variability in the fruits, but I don't think so.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 1:28AM
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Tuso(madrid spain)

Another big plus to this great squash is the inexhaustable supply of male flowers. I love stuffed squash blossoms and after having tried flowers from tons of varieties and types, i find those of TR to be of good size, texture and flavor, and very abundant.

natasja

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 10:15AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Tuso,

How do you make your stuffed squash blossoms?

Another nice feature of this plant is that, as a C. moschata variety, the plants are not spiny like zucchini. Good thing, since the plants grow so large. The plants are also somewhat more heat tolerant than some other types of squash.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 4:28PM
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Tuso(madrid spain)

I have 2 ways that i typically prepare my blossoms. To me the simplist and the best to show of their delicate flavor is to stuff them with a mixture of fresh cheese (ricotta is best) beaten with an egg, a touch of chopped garlic, chopped fresh basil, salt and pepper. These i usually dredge in just flour and i fry them in about 1 1/2 inch of olive oil until golden. i don't recommend using any sort of batter or dredging in egg before frying, its way to heavy for the delicate texture and taste.

The other way is asian style stuffed with ground pork mixed with egg and seasoned lightly with ginger, garlic, chives, salt and pepper. These i steam like dim sum. It takes longer to cook than frying but served with a little soy or light dipping sauce, they are delicous.

My sister in law stuffs them with a bechamel sauce. Delicious, but i don't always have the patience to cook the bechamel first, let it cool down, etc,

do you have any favorite ways to serve them? Always looking for new ideas...

Natasja

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 12:37PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Natasja,

Those ideas sound better than any of mine.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 12:18AM
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winane(z9 CA)

Wow...stuffed asian style sounds yummy. i also love ricotta cheese yummss. I've never had squash blossoms before. In all the many years that we have grown summer and winter squashes, I have never tried them. Can I use the male squash blossoms from winter squashes too for stuffing???

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 1:55AM
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Tuso(madrid spain)

sure, you can use blossms from most c. maxima and c. moschata varities. The bigger the squash the bigger the flower, and the bigger the flower, the easier to stuff. Not sure why, but it seems to me that the blossoms from c. moschata are more perfumed. I am basing that on having used butternut, musquee de provence and TR blossoms, which are all c. moschata.

Do give them a try. The first batch might be frustrating until you get the hang of stuffing. As the flowers are a little delicate it can be a bit tricky. If i am doing a dozen or more i usually use a pastry bag, and i'm sure a cookie press would work as well. With the pastry bag, its a lot less messy and the job gets done in a quarter of the time. Also i find it helpful if you put the flowers in a tupperware container and keep them in the fridge so they maintain their rigidity until you are ready to stuff them.

Or don't stuff them at all and fry the flowers dredged in flour, salt and pepper. Great as a garnish.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 7:29AM
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