This is our second year working with the Row 7 Seed Company, a chef-breeder collaboration between Dan Barber (of Blue Hill restaurant in NY), Michael Mazourek (Cornell University plant breeder) and seedsman Matthew Goldfarb. This group has spent the last decade perfecting new and unique varieties of veggies, breeding for deliciousness as their top priority. Farmer Al discovered Row 7 when he attended an Edible Education 101 course led by Dan Barber at UC Berkeley two years ago.
From the pages of The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Cooking Light, we're excited to offer the rich and flavorful Mini Butternut Squash (Honeynut & 898) and Koginut Squash grown on our farm in Brentwood, CA.
Organic Mini Butternut Squash (Honeynut): The Honeynut squash grew out of Cornell University, refined by plant breeder Michael Mazourek with feedback from chef Dan Barber, and was released to the public in 2011. It is stout, about 6" tall, and looks almost like a butternut squash was shrunk in a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-style machine. The flavor is much more concentrated than a traditional butternut because the fruit is not diluted from water weight. Honeynuts have an intense natural sweetness that becomes rich, caramel-y, and almost malt-like when roasted at high heat. They also don’t have to be peeled because they have thin skin (similar to a delicata) and they have 3 times the amount of beta-carotene packed in.
Organic Mini Butternut Squash (898): After releasing the Honeynut, and the launch of Row 7 Seed Company, breeder Mazourek never saw his work as finished. Together, he and Dan started to ask: how can we one-up the Honeynut? Noticing that the Honeynut’s thin skin caused it to go downhill in storage after November, Mazourek continued to tinker, selecting for outstanding flavor along the way. Still in the experimental phase, the 898 squash is the delicious result: a longer-storing, even-more-mini butternut packed with flavor and nutrition. With candy-like Brix measurements that can reach 15+, it’s sweet enough for dessert, and one serving contains more than double the Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin A.
Organic Koginut Squash (Robin's): This unique little pumpkin has a built-in ripeness indicator. Fruit turn from green to bronze on the vine, so farmers know exactly when to pick for peak flavor and nutrition. (Could vine-ripened squash be the new vine-ripened tomato?) The Koginut has a creamy smooth texture and a sophisticated flavor profile (like a combination of butternut and kabocha without the overbearing squashiness you find in some gourds) that couples incredibly well dressed with brown butter, Maldon salt and a splash of lemon juice, when roasted whole in the oven. The skin pulls away easily from the flesh and the skin even has a pleasant taste. We also enjoyed the heady aroma that filled our farm kitchen when cooking with them!