Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Opo!


One of my favorite food related activities is wandering through the Farmer's Market and looking for something new to try. This weekend yielded one such discovery. The Opo squash!

In order to learn about this green oblong vegetable, I spoke with the farmer about the squash and purchased one to take home and experiment with. I was told that in the Chinese culture, the Opo is also called Gwa.

The flesh of the Opo is white and firm with seeds that are attached (and remind me of a cross between a cucumber and a zucchini). It is in fact a member of the cucumber family! The skin is a pale green and the exterior is smooth and firm.

The flavor of the squash is similar to a zucchini although the texture is a bit softer. I took the larger base of the Opo and cut it horizontally to make 4 "burgers" with it. After a tiny sprinkle of salt and pepper, I threw them into my panini press to grill them. I used one of the discs and made a provolone, avocado, and baby red kale Opo burger!

While I found the Opo squash at my local Farmer's Market, you can find it in many climates where the weather is warmer. Because it needs warmth to grow, this particular squash is characterized as a summer squash but depending on where you live, you can find it throughout the year.

Another application was to slice the Opo into sticks, sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt, and bake. Voila! Low calorie "fries" made in a similar method as my Squash Chips.

The Opo is often used in stir-fries and stews, however you can also enjoy it raw. This vegetable is high in vitamins and fiber while staying low in calories. A perfect companion to any meal or enjoyed alone, I guarantee I will be scouting for more Opo squash on my new Farmer's Market expedition!

Opo Squash on Foodista

10 comments:

Chow and Chatter said...

Indians cook this vegetable also and you will in Indian stores, in fact they make dal with it and a side dish my hubby makes it, will need to post a recipe for you,
what are you going to do make? Rebecca

Anne said...

I've never seen that before! It looks really cool--thanks for the info about it.

Alisa said...

Hi, followed you from Foodista. This veggie is awesome. Its great in bringing down cholesterol levels and diabetes! My aunt tried eating this for a week and had wonderful results! Great picture!

Carolyn Jung said...

How inventive to create a "burger'' on the panini press with the opo. Truly genius! I've only used it in stir-fry. But now, you have me thinking of all sorts of new ways to use it.

Danica's Daily said...

Ohhhh, I've always seen these at the market and wondered how to use them.

Laura said...

looks cool I love to try new stuff!
I have red kale growing too! It is one of my 4 and possibly my favorite although nero is good too.

The Blonde Duck said...

How unusual!

5 Star Foodie said...

Very interesting find! I've never seen Opo squash. A "burger" sounds like a neat idea!

burpandslurp said...

I've never even heard of this vegetable. The varieties of vegetables out there that I haven't yet tried amazes me. And you're very creative!

the twins said...

i love the farmers market too. i've never seen/heard of this vegetable before. thanks for the interesting post.

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