Every year our Island farmers grow new vegetable varieties; some turn out to be a flash in the pan, a few really good ones become keepers.

I’m betting a new squash variety called Robin’s Koginut will be a keeper. Both The Grey Barn and Farm and Morning Glory Farm planted the seed this year, which is available from Row 7 Seeds, a collaboration between Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, plant breeder Michael Mazourek, and seedsman Matthew Goldfarb.  Row 7’s mission is to develop vegetable varieties for deliciousness, and they have certainly succeeded here. 

Susie Middleton

I picked up a Koginut at Grey Barn over the weekend and roasted it last night. There are a few different ways I like to roast squash, depending on how I’m going to use it, but I chose to go with the most straightforward one this time. I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, rubbed softened butter over the flesh and put the squash, cut-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I then roasted the squash for about 50 minutes. (By pressing on the skin with tongs I could feel that the flesh was tender.)

Essentially, roasting the squash halves cut-side down means that they trap moisture released while cooking, and the flesh steams in the oven, producing moist, tender squash that is great to use in soups, mashes, pastas and more.

But the texture of the Koginut I tasted last night was beyond moist — it could only be described as creamy. Not the least bit stringy or dry. The flavor was sensational; the only thing I can liken it to is a creamsicle! Think butternut with a little vanilla and orange juice mixed in.

I wound up eating most of one half right out of the shell but then decided on a whim to make “pumpkin” (or koginut) pancakes. I whisked together an egg and a little half-n-half, stirred in a little flour, a pinch of baking soda, a little coriander and cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and a few tablespoons of the mashed squash. I whisked it all together and dolloped into a hot skillet (nonstick with a little butter). A few minutes later I had the most delicious pancakes. I’m planning to make them again to get a proper recipe down.

In the meantime, I hope you get a chance to try the Koginut this year. As I was writing this, I heard from farmer Ethan Buchanan-Valenti at The Grey Barn who reported that they have harvested 450 pounds from three 50-foot rows, and that this is his second year growing it. He loves it and plans to keep growing it. He also told me that he believes the Koginut is a cross between a butternut and a kabocha squash. 

Simon Athearn at Morning Glory also checked in to say their planting is on schedule to be harvested around October 1 and that it looks good. He is a fan of Row 7 seeds and is also growing the 898 (palm-sized) squash and the un-hot habanado pepper.